A cure for autism is probably one of the most controversial topics right now. The debate over whether there could ever be one, or should ever be one has been going virtually since autism was discovered and first documented. Some people claim there may already be one, and some people argue that it is impossible to cure something such as autism. A lot of people take issue with the use of the word `cure`, because it implies that autism is some kind of disease. I should just say, before I go any further, that personally, even if a cure existed, I wouldn’t take it. But despite, that I have absolutely no issue with people with autism who would like a cure, and I have no intention of having a go at anybody in this blog. This is simply my personal opinion on this subject.
Should we create a cure?
As I say, my personal view is that I wouldn’t take a cure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t think it`s ok to try to find one for those people with autism that want one. The issue I have is this; autism isn’t some kind of disease – it is the way our brain is wired. There are a lot of things that can lessen the negative impacts of autism; things such as diet, or the techniques I have talked about in previous blogs, but these aren’t a cure as such. Personally, having no real medical knowledge, I have to admit I have no clue how a cure could or would be created. But if somebody thinks they can come up with it, then I wouldn’t try to discourage them. I have no desire to actively pursue a cure, and I think there are much more important things that the money and time could be spent on; such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. At the same time I know there are a lot of people out there with autism who wish that there was a cure for it, and who am I to stand in their way if they feel that their lives could be better by taking a cure.
Should you cure your autism?
Now would probably be a good time to explain why I wouldn’t take a cure if there was one: as I say, autism isn’t some kind of disease, you are not one person, and then you get autism and have the negative side-effects, take a pill and go back to being who you were before. Autism affects the way your brain works. It influences how you think, how you feel, how your senses work, how you perceive the world around you and everybody in it. What else is there apart from these things, that makes you who you are? Every thought you have ever had, and every feeling you have ever felt has been influenced by your autism in some way. Sure, a cure sounds lovely for things like outbursts and sensory overload, but there are things that can already help you to deal with these issues. Curing autism would change your entire being. You wouldn’t be who you are now. You would never be able to think, or feel or experience in the same way again. If you wanted to take that risk then that would be completely up to you – we are only talking in hypotheticals anyway as there is no cure. But from my point of view, I quite like who I am now, and I don’t feel like becoming someone else any time soon.
I suppose it keeps coming back to this point – just because I have autism I can’t talk on behalf of everybody else who has it. I can advise and give my opinions, but that`s about it. So no, I don’t think it is worth changing who you are just to fix some negative behaviours, or some things that you may find distressing. I don’t want a cure for my autism, but I can`t speak for others.
A cure is always going to be a touchy subject – even the word itself is controversial. It implies a disease, and I know I said I wasn’t going to have a go at anybody, but my belief is this: people with autism who are fed up of it, and don’t feel that any techniques are working to help them, are perfectly entitled to say that they would like a cure – because we might as well keep using that word, seeing as though it is one everyone understands – but I do think it is out of order for non-autistic people to call for a cure; it basically implies that they think there is something wrong with autistic people, and that a cure would make autistic people like them. So while I am not one hundred percent opposed to people investigating a cure for the small percentage of autistic people who want one, I do take issue with non-autistic people viewing autism as something that should be removed.
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