Evaleen Whelton: I can’t believe I’ll never get the time it took to read that utter rubbish back.
To save others time I’ll summarize:
I’m sorry I hurt ye before but here’s some more words and long sentences which will only do the same.
Frances George: I read this all the way through and felt that you’d come some distance until you then revealed how you’re still not sure if you think autism should be “cured”.
I’m too numb today but I know this will hurt tomorrow. I am going to do my autistic best here and continue with the attempts to explain things to you, for your sons and our community.
It is perfectly possible to support medical improvements in treating *specific medical disorders* without supporting the unscientific and horrific cultural ida of eradicating an entire people. The latter is kind of self-explanatory re: being Very Bad, I’d hope. And currently there is no way to talk about “curing” autism that doesn’t just mean the latter.
Autism is not a medical condition in any meaningful standalone sense, so there is no rational meaning to “curing” it other than wanting to eradicated autistic people. The only real ways to “cure” autism are
1. to screen in-utero and perform eugenics – something Autism Speaks have supported, or
2. to do something similar to gay conversion therapy, which is how ABA started. Both aimed at ways of being that have been listed as medical conditions in the DSM. Homosexuality, autism.
But autism can come with such serious medical problems, right? Yes. But specific medical deficits and struggles could be alleviated or cured in the future (e.g. epilepsy, extreme dysregulation) without horrific attack on a cultural minority’s existence. It is strange that you are upset your second autistic kid might read your poem, but not worried he might find out you want him to be a different person, to be eradicated. I would like more sophisticated approaches to my own medical issues, but looking for a cure to my own neurology isn’t going to give me that. it’s just a path to ignorance, fear and (self) hatred.
Yes, I need to write a list to get through my morning self care routine. I learned many things in my 30s people learn in their teenage years or younger. Yes, being autistic is really very hard indeed, for me. But I still want to exist with my hugely spiky cognitive profile. It makes an excellent artist and a wonderful friend and without being autistic I would not exist as myself.
And when I am in all-autistic spaces, I am at peace, and extremely happy. From the outside we may seem broken or weird, but we are focused on learning and solutions and passions. You can run a lecture then roll on the floor and be accepted. There is so much richness and complexity to our communications.
Did you know that a recent study showed that autistic-autistic pairings of strangers were found to communicate more effectively than non-autistic pairings? Autism comes tangled with a lot of hard knocks, but it simply is not just a deficit. It’s the magic juice that runs my engine, not just my meltdowns. It’s more than any individual.
More With Billy Mann
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.