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Autism AcceptancePosted 3/20/11 • Last updated 6/27/11 • 209 views • 0 comments
We've discussed this before, but I think its time to bring it up again.
There is a huge misconception of what Autism Acceptance (aka: Pro-Autism) means and what our motivation is that makes us, as parents, choose to accept instead of cure our children. I'd also like to discuss some of the Autism myths, feel free to add your own.
To keep this within the UA please refrain from attacking those who do not hold the same opinion as you, this goes both ways. We can do this respectfully and still get our message out there. If you happen to be pro-cure and have questions, feel free to ask, but realize that the responses you get on this thread may not be in your favor, we will try to answer them as best we can.
Misconception #1: There are no Autistic Adults. Also: Autistic Adults can't be loving, or have families.
The truth: Based on this community alone I think we can pretty much prove the falseness of these statements, there are several Autistic adults with families on this board. We are loving and have the same type of "family life" that other families on the board here have. Autistic adults also have jobs and thrive at those jobs bringing diversity and unique skills into the workforce and our society.
Misconception #2: Parents who are not seeking a cure for their children are taking the easy way out. Or: parents who do not seek a cure have given up.
The truth: I think it would be taking the easy way out if I tried to cure him. Heck, if he wasn't Autistic my life probably would be a lot easier. But it would be wrong of me to deny my child of being himself or trying to change him. Sure, my life is 10x more chaotic and we have a lot of challenges. But its also 10x more full filling knowing that, as a parent, I am nurturing and supporting my independent, creative, smart little guy and allowing him to be who he is. Accepting him for who he is does not mean we have given up and don't help him.
Misconception #3: Autistics can't express themselves, communicate and don't recognize emotions or show emotions. Or: Autistics only have 2 emotions, or no emotions.
The Truth: Autistics show their emotions differently and communicate differently. It may not be the same communication NTs are used to, but Autistics do communicate. Autistics have and show emotions, again, they may be different, but they are there.
Misconception #4: If an Autistic person can speak or function, they have High Functioning Autism.
The Truth: High Functioning Autism is not a recognized diagnosis on the DSM. Its also not fair to label someone high functioning or low functioning based on their ability to conform to society or communicate as others communicate. Its also not fair to label someone as high functioning or low functioning based on IQ scores, IQ test are highly inaccurate when used on individuals who's brains work differently. They are designed for Neurotypicals, not Autistics.
Misconception #5: Being pro-acceptance and anti-cure means you don't seek any therapies, treatments or help for your child.
The Truth: Quite the opposite. I don't know any pro-acceptance families who doing nothing for their children. Each family uses whatever resources they deem appropriate for their child and family. It could be therapies, diet or simply helping them to be comfortable with who they are and reach their own goals. The difference is, we don't try to eliminate the Autism. We recognize the Autism as part of our children and accept it as a different way of being.
Example: my son gets ST, OT, Social skills training and other stuff. We monitor his health and take all steps necessary to ensure he is a healthy child and his needs are met. What we don't do is try to change who he is or how he thinks, we only help him get the tools and learn the skills to help him express himself and show the world who he is as well. I do the same for my neurotypical children as well.
I think many people assume that accepting our children means we do nothing. That is a huge misconception. We do whatever it takes to allow our children to be who they are and who they want to be without compromising any of them for the sake of conforming.
Misconception #6: pro-acceptance people want society to conform.
The Truth: Pro-acceptance families want society to accept their children and recognize their uniqueness as a difference, not as a disorder. We don't need society to conform to us, we need society to allow us to be who we are.
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