Maybe Autism shouldn't have a cure.....

Katherine - posted on 12/16/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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A few exciting studies this week in the World of Autism have everyone buzzing. New medications have been discovered that help improve cognitive and social functioning. And an important discovery was made regarding impaired mitochondrial function in individuals with autism and its impact on neurodevelopment.

This is HUGE because researchers had several theories on what caused autism, even isolating genes and have had treatments for autism but nothing was standing out. Until now.

Dr. Mark Hyman claims to have reversed autism. We've seen it time and time again. Jenny McCarthy claims to have reversed in her own son, with the help of certain doctors. There are countless parents on the Internet and in the news who have written books about it. About how their child was taken away from them but brought back, thanks to the treatments to reverse autism. Even Andrew Wakefield, notorious doctor who fudged data to "prove" autism was caused by vaccines, had tons of supporters. And they got people listening.

The problem? It has largely been ignored by mainstream physicians. There are so many loony-toon treatments out there that it's hard to figure out which is bad science and which actually helps individuals with autism. Doctors know that. They are cautious and skeptical. So many bad people are preying on the hopes and fears of parents because they know that sometimes we are desperate, that we'd do ANYTHING to help our children improve. It's a tough life, of COURSE we're looking to make it easier for our children. And ourselves.

The best part of this information coming to light is that it is a bona fide, published, scientific study. They know that there is mitochondrial dysfunction in some autistic children. They know it is possibly caused by exposure to pedticides and herbicides in utero or after birth. Now they have to figure out a few things. How do we prevent this from continuing to happen? And what can we do about the children who are already affected and much older? Can they be treated and can autism be reversed? I can't help but think that attempting to cure my son would change the very essence of who he is. And while I pray and hope and wish for a Christmas Miracle every year, just to hear his sweet voice (well, that and some SLEEP would be nice), I don't know if it is something I have the right to hope for.

I want to believe it, I really do. Part of me is excited that this information is out there. If they find definitive causes then they can find definitive treatments, right? And possibly a way to prevent it from happening to more families. Isn't that good? Isn't that what we've hoped for? The problem I have is that I am slow to trust, especially since we've put our hopes and dreams (and bank account) out there to help our child and have been let down time and time again. How do I know this isn't more of the same? More building up our hopes, praying for a miracle, only to be let down one more time.

Do you think they are close to finding causes for autism? What are your thoughts?

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There's a fat line in the sand. On one side is the search for causes and cures and on the other is a push for neurodiversity awareness. Where you stand may have a lot to do with how well your child (or you) function in daily life. I have found that parents of children with more severe autism are hoping to cure autism, whereas those who have less severely disabled children (AS & HFA) tend to just want acceptance. Of course there are also factors such as how parents view the "need" to socialize and fit in, as well as what they think causes some people to have autism. It's just an observation, nothing empirical about it.



I do not support a cure for autism any more than I support a cure for blondness or left-handedness.

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14 Comments

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Tamarah - posted on 12/18/2010

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I am not worried about finding a "cure" for autism. I love my son just the way he is and I wouldn't have it any other way. Learning how to live and adapt with autism has been the biggest life experience ever. Through learning how to interact with my son, I have learned the importance of communication, patience, different ways of expressing love and most of all humbleness.

Danielle - posted on 12/18/2010

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Maybe they might find a cure for some but the ones with autism in their genes they wont! autism is forever, they say so much about autism & whats involved but at the end of the day it all comes down to consistancy! parents should not get too over whelem & remember their children first! autism is just apart of them,we are teaching them to blossom in life like any other child! enjoy & embrace them! My son has a rare chromo that autism is a part of it. I keep this in the back of my mind & move forward with hes learning, he is loving , affectionate with a beautiful smile, I feel so special to have hes gorgeous nature in my life, ill forever be greatful & blessed to be hes mum as I teach him all hes life skills!

Mary - posted on 12/17/2010

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I know I agree with most of you, I love my kids just the way they are. I want them to be the best they can be, and happy. I know when the psychologist asked Alex if he could have one wish what would it be? He told her he wanted to not have Autism. I cried, I want him to know that he is so much more than a label. I see other kids and I think wow I love my kid just the way he is. He's more loving than most kids in his school, he 's funny. Everyone tells me how nice and polite he is and how he sings to the whole first grade every am. If he didnt have Autism, I don't know if he would still be him. I don't want a cookie cutter kid. My kids have made me a better person and they change me more everyday. I just want them happy.

Stacy - posted on 12/17/2010

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Do I want to change who he is as a person? Absolutely not. Do I want to change him being stigmatized at school, having no friends, being seen as a problem child and troublemaker by others for something out of his control, crying himself to sleep at night because of some massive change at home or school he can't deal with, being overemotional over minor things at life, possibly never getting married, finding a job, having a life of his own? YES. I would like a cure, thank you.

Megan - posted on 12/17/2010

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I may be biased because my son is at the high functioning end (he seems to have settled out about 2 years behind his peers socio-emotionally, and speech is the same way) but I wonder if he would be as happy go lucky, have as much joy in everything if he was "cured." While I think it would be wonderful to find the causes, and stop it from happening as often to other parents, i wouldn't want him cured at this point, because I might loose some part of him in the process that I LOVE.

I am also highly skeptical, as I have been about many other "cures" out there. I really wonder how many of these kids who are cured are just masking or hiding symptoms and it will become a problem when they are out of the house and living on their own/having to make their own decisions.

Katherine - posted on 12/17/2010

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That's completely understandable Gen. Does he have someone that works with him?

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I would like my autistic son to be able to focus more and not have a learning disability. so personally I'd like a cute found.

Katherine - posted on 12/17/2010

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I'm so glad to hear these responses. Because no matter if your child is austic, aspbergers, or "normal", they are still your child. Why would you want to change them?
Btw, I hate the term normal. No one is normal, to me it's being perfect which nobody is.

K. Erin - posted on 12/16/2010

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I have to say, even tho it's frustrating at times, I couldn't be happier with my Aspie kiddo. He's awesome! So Pfffft a cure! I just want him to be a bit more cognitive and get control over his fine motor skills...and it's being worked on, with results. As for social aspects, he's taken that into his own hands and has several 'best buds' all through out our neighborhood. As far as severe autism, I do hope they find a treatment that will work...and I am very skeptical on a cure but praying for all the parents out there.

Mary - posted on 12/16/2010

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I'm not sure how close they are to curing Autism. I hope they are close to finding the cause and helping us to prevent this from happening as much as possable. I have to say that even though I would love for my child to be just like all the other children, He is who he is now because of his disorder. Would my son be as open and loving and excepting of others who have flaws??? I don't think so. I think that he is who he is suppossed to be. I do use medication to help him stay in our world more so that he is high functioning, but he still has a lot of the traits from Autism evident. I don't want to change who my child is, even when he goes into his own world he is happy and laughing and full of light and love. How could I take those things away from him just so he can be "normal" ? I don't want to.

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