$9.39...you get what you get...life at the Adventure House with autism and twins plus a bunch of neuroses and an awesome beer selection
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Don't cure me....cuz I'm not sick
The biggest issue I have with organizations like Autism Speaks is their persistent push for a "cure." If autism were like measles, or beriberi, or AIDS, I'd say, heck yeah, let's find a cure. Because those diseases kill people. But autism isn't a disease. It's a disorder, it's problematic, it's an interference and it's devastating in its own way...but it's not a disease, like pregnancy is not a disease, like being black is not a disease, or gay, or short. It's a status, it's an immutable, but it won't slice your life expectancy in half. Herein lies the rub; I think that the well-meaning, well-connected, but ill-read people at AS think that if we just...I don't know, do what? Tweak a gene? Electroshock a brain? Inject a protein?...that the autism will all but disappear. Isn't that what we all want? For it to go away? I do not. I posit that the differences in children with autism are so valuable, so fundamentally necessary to how society regards itself as masses of cognitive entities, that eliminating the autistic is a disservice to us all. We need to see that difference is important. Variance has value. I don't want autism to be erased from my child if it means that she is no longer the child I know and love. I think a better use of resources is for therapy to bring those children who are so impaired as to be unable to manage their lives independently into the fray of functional, the realm of workable, the world of welcome. We need to alter our view of what it means to be essential to the larger culture. It isn't being perfect, intact, "normal." It's offering counterpoint, demonstrating tolerance, and offering appreciation for those who do not move through life in lockstep with the rest of us. My kid's not broke. Don't ask me to fix her.