Cure or Curse?

There is a lot of talk in the autism world about curing autism. Many, many parents spend thousands and thousands of dollars seeking a cure. Pills, vitamins, behavioral therapy, sensory therapy, OT, PT, Speech therapy, chelation, hyperbaric oxygen, diets devoid of gluten, casein. Diets containing only certain carbohydrates. Diets devoid of artificial dyes, colors, preservatives. Drugs for Alzheimer's, hormones secreted in pregnancy. Medications by mouth, shot, IV, intra-nasal, as a cream. If you've read my blog previously and thought we had tried a lot of things, you can see we just nibbled at the tip of the iceberg. People move across country, give up promising jobs to be near a certain school, or a certain therapy, or to stay home and work with their child themselves. I know of a doctor who believed so much in the hyperbaric oxygen, he purchased a unit for his house.

And yet many with autism, usually people who have Asperger's, are angry about the idea they might need a cure. "Why should *I* change? My brain is who I am. Get used to it." And I think they have a valid point: we don't expect people with Down Syndrome to change. I think it is in the same vein as those who are deaf or blind and refuse a surgery that might give them some of their absent sense. "I am not defective. Stop acting like I am." They need to be empowered and our own limited, neurotypical (that is not autistic) brain need to expand to include autism and it's strangeness (to us) as a part of our world. Our social world, our religious world and our business world. They have a gift, a different way of thinking and viewing the world that can be so useful if they and we can learn to harness it and give it a platform for expression.

And yet.... There are those who no matter how far we open our NT consciousness cannot ever join in. Cannot partake of the joys of life because they are so lost in their own overwhelmed senses that is their curse from autism. They cannot use the gifts that autism brings because of how strong the curse is. These are the ones we long to cure. Even a partial cure, one that lets the communication flow enough to allow us together to lift the curse. The curse that makes us as parents so fearful of what the future holds for our precious children.

I practice a meditation that I hope will let me see the gift of my own child. "May you be happy. May you be well. May you be free from suffering." I don't want a cure. I want happiness and freedom from suffering for my precious boy.


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