Friday, April 11, 2008

Maybe we don't need a cure?

The Autism Awareness Project has a TOTALLY different take on Autism. They are looking for respect, acceptance, dignity NOT A CURE. Fascinating. It certainly has me thinking.

There are so many websites out there about Autism that are not looking at it as something to be cured, not an illness, not a bad thing. In fact many people are quite offended by the thought that they or someone they love need to be fixed.

Get another perspective... look at this: Asperger Square 8 , specifically this:
Also while on Asperger Square 8 look at this and this.

Another interesting issue, click on the graphic :

As a special education teacher, I've been able to love my students for their quirks, while their parents worry about what the future holds. I recall a moment many years ago, I was new to my school and had only been teaching a year before that. I was having my first IEP meeting with a particular set of parents. I was really excited because their daughter was so cute and funny, and I wanted them to know how much I loved her already (just 3 months into school). So I said something like, "OMG! Susie is sooo funny, you two must be laughing all of the time!" Their response? "Well, we're starting to, but we've spent the last 9 years crying." I'll never forget it. I was stopped in my tracks, I didn't know what to say, I hadn't ever thought about Susie from her parents point of view. Their baby was born and they had all of the hopes and dreams and aspirations that we all have for our children... those dreams changed with the diagnosis.
I think what some of the people on the sites above are trying to say is, yeah the dreams changed... but that's it... they just changed. They aren't gone. It isn't like there are no dreams to be had, just different ones. Susie is 16 now (that was 7 years ago), she has traveled all over the world, she's seen and done things that I will never get to do. She is a beautiful high school sophomore. She has a boyfriend. She is still funny, she still has Autism, she still loves Barney. She is every bit as entitled to this world as you and I, so what if she makes you uncomfortable?!


Inspiration Alley said...

Maybe whether you want a cure or not is to a large extent determined by how easily you or your child can function and have an enjoyable life. My son is high functioning and whlist he has many difficulties I love him as he is, and whilst I would and do change the environment around him to make life easier, I would not want a cure for him because then he wouldn't be him. His Autsim is part and parcel of him and his character and even affects his perception of the world. Without it, he would be a totally different person, it wouldn't be like curing someone with diabetes. Would I feel the same if he was less high functioning? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

I would like a cure. I don't like the auditory processing problems, I don't like sensory overload or information overload. I don't like the fact that if I'm interrupted I have to start over. I wish I could carry on a conversation about nothing much. I wish I could read body language and facial expressions and tone of voice. I wish I could know when I am saying something rude and hurtful before I actually say it, instead of only realising where I went wrong hours later when I am sitting there trying to work it all out, why did the truth get me into trouble?