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We've discussed this before, but I think its time to bring it up again.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br><br><b>Misconception #1:</b> There are no Autistic Adults. Also: Autistic Adults can't be loving, or have families.<br><br>
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.<br><br><b>Misconception #2:</b> 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.<br><br>
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.<br><br><b>Misconception #3:</b> Autistics can't express themselves, communicate and don't recognize emotions or show emotions. Or: Autistics only have 2 emotions, or no emotions.<br><br>
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.<br><br><b>Misconception #4:</b> If an Autistic person can speak or function, they have High Functioning Autism.<br><br>
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.<br><br><b>Misconception #5:</b> Being pro-acceptance and anti-cure means you don't seek any therapies, treatments or help for your child.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br><b>Misconception #6:</b> pro-acceptance people want society to conform.<br><br>
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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this is fascinating! Thank you for posting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I was wondering. How do you account for people who claim their autistic child has been "cured" by changes in diet or therapies or whatever? (Jenny McCarthy's son comes to mind). Do you believe they are not autistic, but only have autism-like symptoms, or is there some other explanation entirely?<br><br>
I've gotten the impression that it's possible that some toxins or something (vaccines?) may cause autism-like symptoms - brought on, maybe, in toddlerhood or so, but that some kids have genetic autism that is noticable from birth (?) and not "curable" (or even necessary to cure). I'm just wondering where you stand on that idea?<br><br>
hope that wasn't offensive - I mean no offense, just curious <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I'm more middle of the road in this stuff but I think I have perspective on your questions because of my experience with my son who has autism but did respond to treatment.
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I was wondering. How do you account for people who claim their autistic child has been "cured" by changes in diet or therapies or whatever? (Jenny McCarthy's son comes to mind). Do you believe they are not autistic, but only have autism-like symptoms, or is there some other explanation entirely?<br><br><b>I don't think Jenny McCarthy would call her son cured. I judge this because she's still pursuing other things (like therapy) to work on autism areas. I think her son responded to diet and probably feels better and so some of his autism stuff looks lesser and he can give energy to areas of development he couldn't previously. I would say that if a child responds to a certain diet with reduction in certain symptoms it is because whatever genetic susceptibility they have involves stuff they removed from diet or they have a secondary condition that was treated. Either way the child feels better. There are some known gene mutations involved in autism that affect glutamate processing for example. Gluten and casein (a common diet that some kids respond to) have high glutamic acid contents. But I think you would find that those kids that respond are helped but not cured. And in fact the basic things that make a child autistic are probably still there though they may appear different or be milder or the child might be better able to cope because he feels better and/or isn't being constantly insulted by something that that his body can't handle. He may make developmental progress because he feels his best.<br><br>
My son did not respond to the traditional autism diets. He did respond to diets and medicines though that work around his particular metabolic issue (one that is very common in autism..maybe 20 to 25%). Is he still autistic? Yes. All the basic stuff that makes autism is still there. But he did make some huge developmental gains when we found what helped him. I think in actuality he just feels better. And since he feels better he's better able to reach his potential.</b><br><br>
I've gotten the impression that it's possible that some toxins or something (vaccines?) may cause autism-like symptoms - brought on, maybe, in toddlerhood or so, but that some kids have genetic autism that is noticable from birth (?) and not "curable" (or even necessary to cure). I'm just wondering where you stand on that idea?<br><b>Autism is symptoms. If a child say inherits something that makes them less able to handle toxins in the environment and respond in an autistic way they still inherited an genetic susceptibility to autism. I think vaccines get a lot of attention but in the end we will find that it was more underlying things. Kids who regress especially are very likely to have an underlying metabolic condition. And kids without vaccines with those conditions regress too.<br>
But my son's autism is genetic. He likely has DNA mutations that result in autism and he was definitely autistic from birth. But he still responded to treatment as I stated above. Responding to treating underlying conditions though doesn't equal cure. I don't think cure is possible. And I want to specify that you'll never remove a child's being by treating underlying things in autism.</b><br></div>
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OP, this isn't directed at you particularly but just generally because your questions brought it to mind.<br>
Seeking the cause of your child's autism (and/or assuming there is a cause) does not mean you don't accept your child. There are causes of autism--inherited, genetic causes but causes still. Genetic doesn't mean no cause. Do a pubmed search. I am also frustrated by trying to differentiate that if you know the cause or possible cause it is somehow different than autism in those who don't know the cause or don't do any investigating into causes. Because there is something underlying most or all cases I believe. Some of those "somethings" can be addressed a little bit, most cannot (like chromosome changes), and nearly none can be addressed completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jenna, not offensive at all, and those questions come up a lot here.<br><br>
I think there are several answers to the question and they don't apply to all and can also be used together.<br><br>
Some things do cause "autistic-like" symptoms. Some things that come to mind are vax damage and metal poisoning, but there are others as well. There isn't really any line drawn when diagnosing Autism, these things are getting lumped in with organic Autism as well.<br><br>
But to throw a wild card in there, I believe its possible to have organic Autism and then also have a vax reaction or metal poisoning, and the "Autistic-symptoms" can be more pronounced due to those. They didn't cause the Autism, but the reaction may be more noticeable in Autistic children. Same goes for food sensitivities. Neurotypical children have reactions to the same things, and at the same rates... BUT since Autistics deal with the stresses on thier bodies differently, think differently, and communicate differently, its safe to say the reaction will present itself differently. We may not notice the reactions in Neurotypical children as easily because they have different coping mechanisms and the reactions may present themselves differently. See where I'm going with that?<br><br>
Lets say you have an Autistic child... you put them on a diet... their exagerated Autistic symptoms lesson. Does that mean they are cured or you are treating the Autism? Nope, you treated a food sensitivity, thus making your child healthier and better able to deal with everything else. This is the reason diets and other bio medical treatments don't work on all Autistic kids. (or even half) Because you aren't treating the Autism, only something else that is affecting the child. And not everyone has food sensitivities, has been vax'd or has metal poisoning.<br><br>
Then, you have to step back and wonder how many neurotypical children have the EXACT SAME sensitivities and also have reactions to Vax and Metals BUT are not treated because they don't present the exagerated symptoms as a reaction?<br><br>
So, really, the whole arguement has nothing to do with Autism, but really to do with helping ALL our children be healthy.<br><br>
Unfortunately, many celebrities and Autism groups use this information as "proof" that there is a cause and thus its cureable. They ignore all the other factors and use only what will help thier agenda. I'm all for making vaxes safer and making our kids healthier, but not with lies and not at the expense of trying to change my child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbgrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11621716"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm more middle of the road in this stuff but I think I have perspective on your questions because of my experience with my son who has autism but did respond to treatment.<br><br>
OP, this isn't directed at you particularly but just generally because your questions brought it to mind.<br>
Seeking the cause of your child's autism (and/or assuming there is a cause) does not mean you don't accept your child. There are causes of autism--inherited, genetic causes but causes still. Genetic doesn't mean no cause. Do a pubmed search. I am also frustrated by trying to differentiate that if you know the cause or possible cause it is somehow different than autism in those who don't know the cause or don't do any investigating into causes. Because there is something underlying most or all cases I believe. Some of those "somethings" can be addressed a little bit, most cannot (like chromosome changes), and nearly none can be addressed completely.</div>
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I understand where you are coming from, but I feel its too much of a loaded scenario.<br><br>
Knowing/seeking the cause or the genetic parts is not bad. I'd be ok with that. BUT.. and there is always a "but".... its what you do with that information that has me concerned.<br><br>
I think its a slippery slope. If the genetic marker is identified will it be classified as a defect? Most likely, yes. I don't agree with the idea of it being a defect, but rather a difference. And then you get into the areas of being able to test for it during pregnancy and that opens a whole new can of worms. There are many people (thanks to media) who would not follow through with a pregnancy if the child tested positive for Autism. The child's worth is being measured based on one word: Autism. If that were to happen I feel as if it would start the demise of forward evolution. I can't even begin to imagine how many creative, artistic, inventive people would not be born because they were deemed a genetic flaw.<br><br>
So, while information itself isn't bad. I love information. Its the effects of having that information that scares me.
 

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Great post.<br><br>
I also want to add that to some extent accepting autism means understanding that you can do various things to help your child (or self, I suppose) function better in a culture that will not always be accepting, or to help your child feel more comfortable, but it also means that you recognize that you aren't aiming to make your child "recovered," mainly because you know there's no such thing. It's the decision to stop chasing something that doesn't exist, to stop racing after an illusion about autism (i.e., he'll wind up in an institution, he'll be empty and unhappy, he'll ruin my family, etc).<br><br>
Personally, my biggest issue is not in the slightest with those doing what they can to help their child - it is with the large organizations that continue to purport the idea that autism = terrible tragedy. My beef is that this interferes with a person's basic right to feel worthwhile and constructive in the world, and with a parent's right to feel this way about his/her child. So, while the details matter less than this larger illusion that's created, I see it as our responsibility to be careful about what we put out there about autism as an abstract concept. So, for example, while I don't dislike Jenny McCarthy for doing the various biomed stuff she did with her son, I do dislike her for being careless about how she speaks about autism and her quest for him to be "normal."
 

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Ok, thanks! That really makes a lot of sense.<br><br>
It is definitely a scary thing to think of how many um, neurotypical kids may be having a similar reaction but with completely different symptoms. Very interesting idea.... and horrifying, at the same time. So, really, the autism may be a blessing, in that it may help you know when there's another issue (assuming you can find the issue...), whereas you may not have such obvious or exaggerated symptoms otherwise? I'm always amazed at the difference environmental imput, like food for instance, can have on behavior... so this really makes sense to me.
 

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In defense of Jenny, I think her quest for her child to be normal is really a quest for him to be "back" the way he was before the "trigger." I think moms who feel there was a genetic factor and their child was autistic from birth, my have a different journey than those who think their child was neurotypical and then suddenly changed. I think those moms (whose child changed) may be less "accepting" of the situation and are more hungry to fix him--or find a cure---because they really believe something happened to cause it. This has been my experience, anyway.
 

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In our family, autism acceptance is helping Bede get what he needs to be himself and function in the world, as opposed to trying to make him normal and fix him. It means the point of view is from within Bede looking out at the world, not from society's eyes looking at him.<br><br>
Does that make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>uptowngirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11622301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In defense of Jenny, I think her quest for her child to be normal is really a quest for him to be "back" the way he was before the "trigger." I think moms who feel there was a genetic factor and their child was autistic from birth, my have a different journey than those who think their child was neurotypical and then suddenly changed. I think those moms (whose child changed) may be less "accepting" of the situation and are more hungry to fix him--or find a cure---because they really believe something happened to cause it. This has been my experience, anyway.</div>
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But as I stated in a previous post on this thread... the "trigger' is most likely a reaction to a vax or other factor, and not a Autism trigger. They are simply reacting to this other outside source. Jenny, herself, said there were Autistic traits from birth. I remember reading about his flapping and how she thought it was cute, until she found out that it was an Autistic trait. So, she plainly contradicts herself to help push this "vax caused his Autism" stance. When, it would make more sense to say he had a vax reaction that showed up as exaggerating his Autistic traits. And instead of saying he is recovering form Autism, it would make more sense to say he is recovering from vax reactions.<br><br>
But that doesn't sell the idea or make as big of an impact. Portraying Autism as a tragedy and blaming something like vax if more marketable.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>feebeeglee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11622453"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In our family, autism acceptance is helping Bede get what he needs to be himself and function in the world, as opposed to trying to make him normal and fix him. It means the point of view is from within Bede looking out at the world, not from society's eyes looking at him.<br><br>
Does that make sense?</div>
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This is exactly what it means to us too.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">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.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Really this is how ALL children should be raised. Autistic or not, they should be cherished and accepted for who they are. That naturally leads to providing assistance in the areas a child (ANY child) is struggling while leaving what works for that child alone (even if it is running in circles flapping <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>FreeRangeMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11623145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Really this is how ALL children should be raised. Autistic or not, they should be cherished and accepted for who they are. That naturally leads to providing assistance in the areas a child (ANY child) is struggling while leaving what works for that child alone (even if it is running in circles flapping <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">).</div>
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Exactly!
 

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What a great post, Kristine233.<br><br>
Something bugs me about the neurodiversity conversations that almost always seems to eventually come up. I don't want to be offensive and I sure don't want to cause anyone to get upset. I just wish I understood better. It hasn't really been brought up in this post yet but this seems a good place to try to get better understanding for myself.<br><br>
It seems that many neurodiversity advocates differentiate between "real" autism and autistic-like behavior that results from brain insult. They also sometimes say that "real" autism is present from birth, while the "fake" or the "imitation" autism occurs after a child has been in the environment for a while. That "real" autism is something a person <b>is</b>, while "fake" autism is something a person <b>has.</b> They say its okay to try to cure the "fake" autism but horribly insulting to try to cure "real" autism (<b>cure</b>, not provide support for specific behaviors).<br><br>
I have two issues with this.<br><br>
First, I believe a person IS their behavior. There is no other way to say who a person is. Does it really matter what the etiology of the way a person behaves is? For example, and I hope this isn't offensive to anyone, I believe that neurodiversity should be extended to all people, as FreeRangeMama seems to point out. Including all forms of so-called mental illness. I work in the field of mental illness and I see a lot of people with thought disorders (psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective, etc). I truly believe they are okay the way they are, and it is also okay to provide them whatever support and relief <b>they</b> want. If they are happy with the way they are and aren't hurting anyone else or severely hurting themselves, then no "treatment" is needed. Well, the symptoms of someone who has organic schizophrenia (born with it although the symptoms may not manifest until early adulthood) are <b>irrelevantly different</b> from schizophrenia that is caused by brain damage due to drug use (meth in particular). The offered treatment is the same (well except for additional substance abuse treatment) and the behavior is the same. In the field of mental illness, they no longer think it makes any sense to differentiate between the different etiologies of thought disorders, and I agree with them. And I don't see why this shouldn't extend to autism and any other non-neurotypical way of being.<br><br>
Second, if autistic traits are often desireable and admirable, then what would be wrong with wanting to be autistic, even if that means doing something deliberately to yourself to enhance autistic traits? It seems that even among neurodiversity advocates it would be considered cruel to try to deliberately expose a child to something that might cause autism - this seems odd to me.<br><br>
As an aside, anyone read Orson Scott Card's <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Speaker for the Dead?</span> There is a subplot about a group of people who have severe obsessive compulsive traits who greatly value those traits - in fact, the most OCD of them are elevated to almost diety status. Then they find out they were genetically altered - it wasn't a god-given gift after all - and nearly all of them choose to be cured. Its science fiction. I'm not saying I agree with or disagree with Card's treatment of the issue - I just find the way the author dealt with it absolutely fascinating and thought-provoking. I'll bet Shaggy Daddy has read this book!
 

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*double post due to the nursing gymnast on my lap
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It seems that many neurodiversity advocates differentiate between "real" autism and autistic-like behavior that results from brain insult. They also sometimes say that "real" autism is present from birth, while the "fake" or the "imitation" autism occurs after a child has been in the environment for a while. That "real" autism is something a person is, while "fake" autism is something a person has. They say its okay to try to cure the "fake" autism but horribly insulting to try to cure "real" autism (cure, not provide support for specific behaviors).</td>
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I am not very familiar with the whole neurodiversity movement aside from the obvious acceptance idea, but it seems that the thing that needs to be "cured" (it that is the right word) would be the thing that is causing the autistic behaviour, not necessarily the autistic behaviour itself. Some kids have great improvements on different diets. The goal isn't (or shouldn't be) to make the child not autistic, but if diet is affecting their behaviour in a severe way it clearly is harmful to their health and the autistic behaviour is a symptom of that. The goal should be the health of the child, NOT the irradication of all autistic characteristics. The same would apply to heavy metals. If a child has a high load of metals THAT is the concern. It isn't healthy and should be addressed. The autism would be the symptom of a larger issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BellinghamCrunchie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624331"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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It seems that many neurodiversity advocates differentiate between "real" autism and autistic-like behavior that results from brain insult. They also sometimes say that "real" autism is present from birth, while the "fake" or the "imitation" autism occurs after a child has been in the environment for a while. That "real" autism is something a person <b>is</b>, while "fake" autism is something a person <b>has.</b> They say its okay to try to cure the "fake" autism but horribly insulting to try to cure "real" autism (<b>cure</b>, not provide support for specific behaviors).<br></div>
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Again, I think there is a misunderstanding here. I don't know anyone who is pro-acceptance who calls any kind of Autism "fake" Autism.<br><br>
What I explained above is that there are different things that mimic and cause Autistic like traits. I'm not calling those things Autism, nor am I saying its ok to "cure" any kind of Autism. We recognize those things as separate issues that are unrelated to Autism. Its ok to seek a cure for vax damage or metal poisoning etc, which can cause Autistic-like traits, yes. And you'll also see above I also explained that a child/person can have both vax damage or some other damage AND have Autism simultaneously. Treating one doesn't mean you are treating the other, you're simply making your child healthy.<br><br>
But when we are talking about vax damage as if it is Autism, we start having issues. The medical community often only looks at the behaviors and doesn't dig deeper. They label anything that "looks" like Autism, as Autism. And considering the tie between our medical community and drug companies, them actually giving a diagnosis of vax damage is not going to happen anytime soon. Its far easier for them to lump those children in with the Autistic population. So its not "fake Autism", its simply not Autism. But again, the two can coexist which muddies the waters there and then you are simply dealing with people not recognizing that its 2 separate issues and instead claim one is causing the other. Vax (or other variable) don't CAUSE Autism, they present their own issues all together and can make the already Autistic child have more pronounced Autistic traits simply because how their body handles it.<br><br>
So.... treating the vax damage or metal poisoning or whatever issue is presented... is not treating the Autism or Autism in general. your simply treating this other issue and are making the Autistic child healthier. So no one is saying that curing Autism if its a specific kind of Autism is ok, they are simply saying that society needs to start recognizing that a child can have more than just Autism and to say you are treating what you are really treating. ie; vax damage or metal poisoning.<br><br>
Again, its big organizations with an agenda that purposefully muddy the waters and try to get us to believe they are all the same thing and that these things CAUSE the Autism, therefore Autism is curable (since you can, obviously, treat these other things). Recognizing that they coexist and one doesn't cause the other isn't profitable and doesn't bring money or celebrities running to their cause.<br><br>
Its all about marketability, which is SUPER sad if you think about it. Autistic kids are used as a marketing tool and its warped to fit the organizations' needs. If they admitted that Autism is genetic, that other things are damaging our kids instead but NOT causing Autism, that Autism is not a tragedy and the kids are capable of growing up and having lives... well... they can't sell that idea.
 

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I think I understand that you are saying if autistic-like behavior is caused by an environmental something, the environmental something should be treated, but that if its caused by an environmental something, it must <b>not be autism.</b><br><br>
I think I disagree. I'm not saying that autism should be cured (or even that it can be cured). But if an abandoned three year old child appears on my doorstep, displaying autistic behaviors, and you <b>can't tell the difference</b> between autism and environmentally-induced autistic behaviors, then its autism. (If it smells like a rose, looks like a rose, stims like a rose...). I'm disturbed by the focus on the differentiation between etiology.<br><br>
All people should be accepted as they are. What if it turns out there is a "cure" for autism at the genetic level? What if autism isn't purely genetic, but turns out to be caused by the presence of certain enzymes in the mother's bloodstream which activate certain genes during gestation in susceptible people, that could be avoided by the mother not eating, for example, broccoli... or something... should the mother not eat broccoli? Even though the baby "is autistic," mostly, at the genetic level? Its who he is?<br><br>
I don't think I'm missing your main point that autism is an acceptable, even sometimes preferable, way of thinking. (The world would be a very different, much more backwards place without autism - the world needs autistic people, it really does). I understand that big pharm's, the various expensive so-called cures that keep popping up, the anti-stim-make-them-just-like-us paranoia around autism is wrong and dehumanizing on many levels. I'm just very interested in exploring what it really means, this acceptance and neurodiversity movement, and where it will take us, and what it will mean if taken all the way to its logical conclusion.
 

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Oh, and I forgot to mention, thank you for your well-thought out post. I very much agree with most of what you are saying. I completely agree about acceptance. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in responding to my questions. I realize I'm taking you a bit off topic. You don't have to go there if you don't want to... I'm just interested in exploring the topic as far as it will go, because I want to find out the truth about human nature (a life-long quest of mine I guess).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BellinghamCrunchie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11625052"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think I understand that you are saying if autistic-like behavior is caused by an environmental something, the environmental something should be treated, but that if its caused by an environmental something, it must <b>not be autism.</b><br><br>
I think I disagree. I'm not saying that autism should be cured (or even that it can be cured). But if an abandoned three year old child appears on my doorstep, displaying autistic behaviors, and you <b>can't tell the difference</b> between autism and environmentally-induced autistic behaviors, then its autism. (If it smells like a rose, looks like a rose, stims like a rose...). I'm disturbed by the focus on the differentiation between etiology.<br><br>
All people should be accepted as they are. What if it turns out there is a "cure" for autism at the genetic level? What if autism isn't purely genetic, but turns out to be caused by the presence of certain enzymes in the mother's bloodstream which activate certain genes during gestation in susceptible people, that could be avoided by the mother not eating, for example, broccoli... or something... should the mother not eat broccoli? Even though the baby "is autistic," mostly, at the genetic level? Its who he is?<br><br>
I don't think I'm missing your main point that autism is an acceptable, even sometimes preferable, way of thinking. (The world would be a very different, much more backwards place without autism - the world needs autistic people, it really does). I understand that big pharm's, the various expensive so-called cures that keep popping up, the anti-stim-make-them-just-like-us paranoia around autism is wrong and dehumanizing on many levels. I'm just very interested in exploring what it really means, this acceptance and neurodiversity movement, and where it will take us, and what it will mean if taken all the way to its logical conclusion.</div>
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I think we are mostly on the same page. I think there are just a few grey areas that are hard to define for a lot of people.<br><br>
If a child appears Autistic, has the Autistic traits etc... there is nothing wrong with calling it Autism. I don't think that is the issue at hand at all.<br><br>
Its when, you discover that these traits were caused by vax damage or some other source and THEN still insisting that its purely Autism and insist these things CAUSED the Autism that there is the disagreement/issue.<br><br>
And, again, they can coexist. So a child can be Autistic <b>and</b> have vax damage. And its perfectly fine to treat vax damage in an Autistic child, as you would in ANY child. But if you treat the vax damage and ALL the Autistic symptoms are gone, as in the child can no longer be diagnosed as Autistic. Then what? Do you assume you've cured Autism or do you realize the child had vax damage that was causing all these symptoms and Autism wasn't the true diagnosis for the child.<br><br>
(BTW, please replace "vax damage" with whatever factor you think fits into this scenario for all the different theories.)<br><br>
As far as enzymes activating genes based on things that mom could eat etc... (I'll put aside the fact that I don't think that is evenpossible and play along) I think the reaction and thus the outcome is part of evolution and not something we should mess with to begin with. There is a reason for it to be possible and happen in the first place. Our bodies may have evolved to ALLOW this reaction and gene activation to happen on purpose, as part of naturally diversifying our species and society. So even if they found that to be true and prevent it, I don't think they should and it would be morally wrong to do so. Not to mention, harmful to humans everywhere. To me, thats like finding the cause of different ranges in IQ or abilities and eliminating the ones you don't want. Its a slippery slope.
 
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