I am not anti anything – if you’d just hear me out…..

I’m not anti-cure for autism.  I would love nothing more than to slip my child a pill or magical food or drink that would make him neurotypical.  You have no idea how much I would LOVE that.  But you can’t cure Autism because Autism isn’t an illness.  Autism is a collection of behaviors and symptoms that we’ve labeled Autism.  It it looks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it’s a duck.  Researchers are doing research – searching for a germ or cell or organism or gene that causes “The Autism”.

If you’ve received an actual diagnosis of Autism – then you have displayed or shown a certain number of set behaviors and symptoms they have decided is the “criteria” for Autism.  This excerpt is from the CDC website so I trust it as legitimate.

Diagnostic Criteria for 299.00 Autism Spectrum Disorder

  1. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):
    1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
    2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
    3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understand relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

  1. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):
    1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).
    2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat same food every day).
    3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).
    4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

  1. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).
  2. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
  3. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level.

Note: Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals who have marked deficits in social communication, but whose symptoms do not otherwise meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder, should be evaluated for social (pragmatic) communication disorder.


end of excerpt.

These symptoms and behaviors are not unique to Autism.  Developmental delays can be caused by a myriad of things that ARE treatable and curable.   Autism should NOT be the first label you jump on – and in my experience in the Counselling field and using Diagnostic Diagnosis, you should arrive at Autism after you have exhausted all other treatable possibilities.

So, if you changed your child’s diet, and your child is no longer developmentally delayed, you did not cure Autism, you found a diet that your child’s body can tolerate.  If you gave your child medicine, and your child is no longer delayed, you did not cure Autism.  You helped regulate your child’s brain chemistry so they weren’t battling anxiety, sleep deprivation, or other mental illnesses anymore.

You can’t cure Autism.  It isn’t a “special feature”.  It isn’t a gift.  It isn’t a burden.   It’s a collection of behaviors and symptoms.  So when I am presented with books and manuals claiming a cure and prevention for Autism, I’m gonna speak up.  I’ve retraced every breath of my pregnancy with my Autistic son – and I believe I did everything as healthy as I could, and every breath since, I’ve been a 1:1 completely devoted, present parent.   I’ve watched the documentaries and the movies, I’ve read the books, I’ve talked to the experts, I’ve tried things against my better judgement because “professionals” told me to.  I’ve been at this 11 years with THIS child – my oldest, who is high-functioning on the spectrum, will be 25 soon.  This ain’t my first rodeo.

I recently saw a book (and commented – yeah that was me – I called it snake oil) where the author claims you can prevent your child from having “The Autism” by eating a special diet during pregnancy.  Really?  Did she know the child was going to be Autistic before she got pregnant?  Am I the only person in the world who sees this book as a comedic work of fiction?  My comment has since been commented on rudely.   I’ve ignored the replies.  The book’s only purpose is to make money for the author.  It’s like selling anti-zombie spray.  See any Zombies?  No?  That’s because it works.  Buy my Anti-autism protection diet at 19.95 a copy and you won’t have the nasty “Autism” bugging your newborns.  Quit trying to capitalize financially on other’s pain.

I’m not anti-cure.  I’m not anti-vax.  I’m not anti-medical.  I’m not anti homeopathic.

I’m anti-dumbass.

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Pearl Manhattan

Life interrupted - this space is changing - stay tuned

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