zondag 29 november 2009

Is a cure for autism what we are looking for?

Although some will claim autism can be cured, there is at least one reason that goes against it: we have only just come to scratch the surface of what it is, how broad the spectrum is, what is in the spectrum and how we should assess it. Any claim of a cure is nonsense.

My next remark might have been 'however comforting that would be'. Yet, I would not be so quick to state that. Being diagnosed with Asperper's Syndrome and having a son with middle to highfunctioning autism, I frequent a forum where I meet other ASS-diagnosed people. This ranges widely from PDS-NOS to classical autism. Needless to say everyone there is at least of a level where reasonable communication is possible. That also makes that we are aware of our particularities.

A poll that now and than comes up is asking the question that if there was a hypothetical pill that could cure us, would we want that. Each time this scores for 'no' over 90%. Including doubters this is over 95%. The reasoning (which is along the same lines with the doubters) is nothing wanting to chance ones personality. Most members are over 20, with a well-developed personality. To change this should be considered before applying a cure.

For very young and/or low-functioning autists, it may be an option but the simple assumption that it is always desirable to completely cure autism, which seems to be the driver with people associating with Age Of Autism and such organizations, is naive. My thought is that it is also typical of people who already think it can be cured, where the desire to cure overrides reasonable thinking. Prevention would be another matter. I wonder if they see the difference between preventing and curing.

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