This posting was submitted from a mother who wants to share she feels autism doesn't always have to be cured. This item was emailed to this on this blog---AR
Here's my thoughts, which have crystallized over the last few weeks due to lots of media coverage on autism.
1. Autism is not a tragedy. It is a neurobiological brain disorder that affects a significant number of children.
2. It is a spectrum, meaning that there are children who are highly functioning, such as my son with Asperger's Syndrome, and children who are completely non-verbal. Most of the focus tends to be on the lower functioning individuals.
3. Many of us do not think our child needs to be "cured." My 15-year-old son goes ballistic when he sees the commercials that speak of a cure. As he says, "they just don't understand, that's the way I was born." I do agree that there are small subset of the population who are susceptible to changes that occur after immunizations, but I believe that autism is primarily a genetic disease. Those individuals whose autism occurs after an immunization probably had the symptoms to begin with, but perhaps they were subtle, and not recognized by the parents/professionals until the child is effected by the immunization.
4. My son and his best friend (a girl) who also has AS, both told me that they would never want to get "rid of their Asperger's Syndrome" if given a choice. They were both emphatic about this.
5. Life on the spectrum is difficult. The educational system in our country is ill-prepared to handle these children, and as a result, the stress and trauma placed upon the children and their families it tremendous. EVERY MOM I know of a child who is on the spectrum is on some type of anti-depressant medication.
6. I would not trade my son, or change him, EVER. He has taught me patience, understanding, and appreciation for the little things in life. God gave him to me for a reason, and I am a better person for having been his mother.
Good luck with your blog.
Mary S. Halbach