On April 2, we will celebrate the third annual World Autism Awareness Day. But there is a war raging within the autism community.
Parents are still pitted against each other over the vaccine issue, despite the fact that numerous well designed scientific studies have failed to show any causal link.
Autism parents still fracture along the biomedical divide. Some parents say they have “recovered” their children from autism, using treatments that are often expensive and/or haven’t been rigorously and scientifically tested, while other families – mine included – have tried many of these same therapies and seen no results, or disappointing ones at best.
And then there is the neurodiversity movement. A growing number of people with Asperger’s Syndrome or higher functioning autism are calling for us to embrace autism, saying, essentially, “don’t fix us, we’re fine.” They believe that society ought to concentrate on accepting autistic people, not curing them. But try telling that to the parent whose child doesn’t speak, or will never be able to care for himself, and you will ignite a powder keg of pent-up rage.