Therefore I have never given any thought to the hypothetical question of ’curing’ C of being himself. Autism is his way of being. So I feel it is not my choice to make. It is not about me.
Jim Sinclair says it very well in his article Don’t mourn for us.
I was thinking of giving up blogging as C is doing well. Or maybe just doing the odd post if I had something to say. So when I saw this post - as C and I were talked about in some of the comments I felt it warranted a reply. So I gave it some thought.
And this is what I ‘honestly’ think...
I see Autism more of a difference than a disability. But I do see C disabled by society by attitude and prejudice, exclusion, lack of resources and at times the wrong support, Etc.
These are all normal traits that C already has. OK so maybe a bit more extreme!
There are many tangents/debates around all this. Low and high functioning. What about other comorbid conditions. Children who have tragically died from various therapies or restraints. Or murdered maybe from fear or lack of support? Disability is normal. Parental genetic testing? Prevention. Eradication.
Why can’t society accept everyone is different?
The journey to acceptance is different for everyone as we each have our own issues to deal with I have seen some parents get stuck at different stages (especially anger). And as a society we take even longer as we have seen with differences of ethnicity, gender etc. Diversity is overlooked within groups and produce stereotypes that can reinforce prejudice and discrimination. And so it goes on.
Yes life has been very difficult at times for C and so in turn for me. But there is also much joy.
From the first day C started head banging (he even does this when happy) i have looked for ways to give him other means to communicate. He had early intervention. Went to the best schools i could find and has been under a Challenging Behaviour specialist team. I continue to look for ways to help C communicate without hurting himself. And make sure there are people around him who understand him and want to support and help him to. And C continues to show progress at his own pace. Acceptance doesn't mean doing nothing.
We all struggle at times. No one is truly independent. C does have a quality of life even with severe challenging behaviour. Which is what I have tried to show through by blog rather than ‘blowing roses’.
Education is the key. Not only for our children to help them reach their potential but to society as a whole in raising awareness as one of the biggest problems that I see is the way many people view autism.
It’s such a shame that this hypothetical question divides our community.
Harold has continued this discussion on his blog - Autism Cure? It's About Functioning Not Conformity.
Kev from Left Brian/Right Brain has offered his opinion - So what is ‘cure’?
And the lovely Starrlife writes about Removing the Essence