by Christine Roach
So, I can’t tell you how annoyed I am when people ask me if I think my kids can be cured of autism or when I see a fundraiser or organization that is raising money to help “find a cure” for autism. In my opinion, autism isn’t something that can be cured. Autism is a part of who someone is. It is a part of their genetic makeup. That would be like saying, “Let’s find a cure for depression.”
That being said, I don’t think a diagnosis of autism is the end of the world for a child. Just like with depression, you can get therapy to help you cope and see the world in a more typical way, autism has many therapies to help a child learn to cope and see the world in a different way. Just like there are medications to manage symptoms of depression, there are medications out there to manage some of the symptoms of autism. Not all medications work for all kids. Isn’t that how it is in the real world with other medications? There needs to be a process of trial and error to find just the right medication for your child…if that is a path that you even want to take. There are ways to treat the metabolic problems that many children with autism face, whether with vitamins, diet and other various therapies. Just like with diabetes, being on a special diet can greatly improve the symptoms in one child and do nothing whatsoever for another.
Managing the symptoms of autism is a long, difficult process and can take years, but it can help the child and those that love him/her deal better in this world that can seem intrusive to them. As I said before, I don’t think there is a cure for autism. That is just silly, to try and cure a part of someone that is just who they are. But, there are ways to manage the symptoms that can hinder their progression in this crazy world.
I, personally, don’t see why you would want to cure someone of the unconditional love, self awareness and honesty that comes from a person with autism. They are blessed to see the world in an amazing way and to find joy in the little things. All of us could use a little bit of that kind of “autism.”