Wired Article on Autism

Mrs. - posted on 04/03/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )




This article is about new research regarding autism and a different way of looking at those with autism, as people who aren't "damaged" but just think differently.


The part of it I really related to, as a chronic pain patient, was the life long support of those who already are autistic instead of pulling all research into "fixing" the problem:

"We just spent ten years of very expensive research hunting for autism genes, only to discover that autism genetics is much more complex than we thought. We’re investing all this money in trying to make autistic people go away, instead of helping the millions of autistic people who are already here lead happier, safer, and more productive lives. That’s a shameful squandering of human resources."

Do you agree, is it poor management of resources? Should the focus be on accepting those with autism as just being different and not flawed/damaged?


Alicia - posted on 04/04/2012




My son has high functioning autism; the resources we have been able to access here in USA have been shameful! there is nothing wrong with my child, he just goes about things differently than the average. And looking at how he does it it is really significantly more logical than you or I. he is able to remove more emotion from decisions making, thus often making better choices than many!

If you look at the global breakdown of these types of issues it is not all that difficult to work out some of the reasons for the outrageous increases in America, Australia, Korea & UK in the last few years.

Not that I am blaming McDonalds; but look at where they (and their junk food counter parts) have exploded in popularity and watch the incidents of Autism and other ABI's (acquired brain injuries/issues) increase 10 fold+ per decade.

the quality of the parents DNA is compromised. far tooooooo much processed foods, chemical sprayed on the food and synthetic compositions in food and drink products etc.

there was a medical paper published in early 2007 indicating that just 2 months of artificial free food intake improved the quality of DNA exponentially.

its time to stand back, take our own responsibility back and make GOOD and INFORMED choices about our own health and well-being. our future generations require we do; or they will not survive!

Now I'll hop off my soap box

Jennifer - posted on 04/04/2012




Many high functioning autistics fight against a 'cure'. But, as I stated to one of my students, the people who suffer with autism are the one's we want to help, those able to live fulfilling lives are not really who we care to 'cure'. In my mind, they are different, but perfectly fine. It is the people who live their intire lives in fear, or have no way to communicate their wants and needs, or spend their time beating their head and screaming, those are who we want to help.

Cure may not even be the right word to use. I don't care to 'fix' my kids. I want to know that they are happy, I want them to be able to communicate somehow, and I want them to be able to care for themselves at least to the level that they can report abuse.

My cousins little boy is autistic, she is so in love with him, his 'problems' and the frustration he has caused has never meant a thing to her. But when he started talking at about 7, it thrilled her! She finally KNEW what he wanted. She could feel good knowing, finally, that he was happy. He may yet be able to function on his own as an adult. But until he is independant, she will live in fear of what will happen to him if she is killed or hurt beyond being able to care for him. She doesn't want him cured, she wants to know that he will be ok.

[deleted account]

I think acceptance as a concept is nice in theory, but not very realistic. Some people with high-functioning autism can be mainstreamed and lead happy lives, but not everyone with autism is high functioning. I know a family whose autistic son is like a wild animal. He is a teenager and, frankly, is a danger to others and himself based on his behavior. Simply viewing his behavior as a variation of normal isn't realistic. My mother taught in a self-contained room for children with learning disabilities and I would sometimes shadow her at work. There is a huge variety in what people think of as autistic. There's a big difference between a 10 YO kid that stims and has poor social skills and a kid who will ram a pencil through anyone's hand for no apparent reason, bash his own head against the wall repeatedly, and throw his own poop across the room.

[deleted account]

i've never thought people with autism had something wrong with them. i have plenty of friends who have autism or something similar and there is nothing wrong with them or how their brains work, they just process information differently from others and there's nothing wrong with that. so yes, i agree that it's poor management of resources. why put so much effort into eradicating the so-called "problem" when the true problem lies in people's acceptance of others?


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Kelina - posted on 04/05/2012




Honestly I'm not sure. Yes, there is a broad spectrum of autism. And yes they think differently than we do. But could any parent of a child with autism truly say, if I could change it so that my child could live a relatively normal life without the impulse to bang their head against hte wall or floor, or do violent things or hurt themselves, I wouldn't? If I could change it so that my truly gifted child was able to control their impulses and make their bodies do what they wanted them to do, I wouldn't? If I could change it so that my child didn't have to spend all their lives constantly working with therapists, and rarely spending time with me, I wouldn't? I know a mom with two boys with autism. Thanks to early intervention, her boys seem almost just like every other kid their ages. They'd probably be considered high functioning autism. I dated a boy in highschool with asbergers syndrome. That's on the autism spectrum as well. I think most parents if given the choice would want their child to be as normal as possible especially if they weren't able to get them the care they needed. However, therein lies the issue. In the meantime, parents need to have resources to be able to care for their kids, teach them how to think like them, how to get through to them etc. But if this research were not being done, how many parents would be outraged that no one was looking at it? As human beings we want to know why. We want our kids to be happy. Can any child who has to spend countless hours a week with different therapists really be happy?

Mrs. - posted on 04/04/2012




Someone leading a less functional life and suffering on a daily basis, I don't think that is an argument to use all the resources to find a "cure", I think it is a strong argument to allocate those resources to helping those who need it the most, to live with their autism the best way they can. Unfortunately, it seems a "cure" may not be a possibility in our lifetimes or ever. Even if there is a "cure" coming round the curve in the next couple decades, there are still generations of people who will have lived their lives suffering when they might have had more resources to help deal with their autism.

Our good family friend has a child with ASD and he is, behaviour wise, violent. He is still young now, but he is a big kid. He does go to a specialized school now, but he is a challenge to his small statured mother. I can't bring my toddler or dog around him because he pushes and hits them. Although, I love the kid, he needs more help, the family, as whole, needs more. I wish there was more available to them, they are doing their best. I keep thinking about how, when he gets to be a teenager, if the behaviour continues - he will seriously hurt his mother.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/03/2012




There's a big difference between a 10 YO kid that stims and has poor social skills and a kid who will ram a pencil through anyone's hand for no apparent reason, bash his own head against the wall repeatedly, and throw his own poop across the room.

I agree, there is a huge scale where autistic children may sit. However, if there were more tools for them, they would get the individual toolset for their behaviour and requirements. This is what I would like to see happen.

More research into developing tools for one end of the scale to the other and all inbetween. I don't think that is unrealistic at all.

Some children that are high functioning may need help in specific area's such as socialism. Where a child on the low functioning end, may need actual therapy in several area's.

There are some great resources out there now BUT they cost $80 000/year. This is not right. This should be much less, if not free. So, now all those low functioning kids have to live without a chance of help, that can prepare them for life in the real world. I think it is terrible.

More money needs to go to resources for these children.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/03/2012




I read this article when you provided in another thread. I absolutely agree that resources are being poorly managed. I mean, after all these years of researching where Autism comes from and they still do not know. All they know is it is very complex, in regards to the root cause.

While I agree that it is important that research is attributed to the root of the disability and that there has been a lot of advancement in the knowlege surronding the disability, there should be equal or slightly more focus, on acceptance and helping each learn to cope and have provided tools to do so.

These individuals should not be looked at as flawed or damaged. Actually, most of them are very bright and able to comprehend a lot. They, at times, are just not able to present themselves as a person without the disability.

There needs to be more focus on helping them be a part of regular society. There should not be any stigmatism associated. They deserve a fair life as you or I. They need to be given the resources. Plain and simple.

[deleted account]

I do think there should be a focus on "living with Autism", but I do not think it was a "shameful squandering of human resources."

The fact remains that autistic people do require more medical and social support than those around them at this point. I do not think it was irresponsible to look for a root cause to try to curb autism to begin with, but there should be a joint focus on helping those with autism cope with it. Honestly, I was not aware that there were not programs in place for that. My school district has several programs that help autistic children integrate into society at different levels.

Furthermore, in order to help those with autism, we need to know the causes, effects, and everything we can about the "disorder" (if you even want to call it a disorder). The more we know, the more we can help. Yes, it took years and years of research, but through that research, we have learned a lot about how those who live with it process information.

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