12/09/2009

When is a cure annhilation? When is it just a word for happier, better?

Nightstorm has an interesting post up that I hope you'll look at; it follows kind of on the heels of my post covering Doherty's exchange with a friend and me regarding cures.

Here's my comment to Nightstorm over at her blog:

Cure is such a loaded term. If we stuck to more neutral terms and ideas like helping individuals live their lives so that they are fulfilled, satisfied, valued, safe, no one could be against that.


Cured: there's a cure for Downs Syndrome: abortion of the fetus. I don't want that kind of cure for autism. That's one of the things I think of when I hear cure in relation to autism. Cured: the loss of the individual's personality. That's the other thing I think of. If autism is a fundamental difference at the genetic, chromosomal, cellular and neural levels of the brain, then curing would mean a fundamental alteration of the person. I'm not for that either.

Lessening the symptoms that create misery for the autistic individual (for any individual): yes.

Respecting the right of my children to gain autonomy over their lives as they grow and to have a say in the treatments they receive: yes. We explain everything. Of course, my children aren't on medications to deal with any of their behaviors; they don't get ABA. So, I don't have to explain a lot, at least regarding that.

Am I trying to mold them into NTs. Nope. Sounds dreadfully boring and I'm sure I don't fit there. Am I trying to help them navigate the world easier? Yes. Do I explain as I go? Yes.

I want them to love themselves, to take pride in the things they do well and to accept that we all have issues we must struggle with. The trick is to find a way to struggle with those issues with grace.


...

Now, if you've read enough of me, you'll have heard this before: the girlies and I have a song. It's our mantra.

And we've even got a dance.


Issues, multitudinous and many. I've got issues.

But that's okay.

Because you've got issues, too.

And you know that you do, and you know when you wish people would cut you a little slack over those issues. So, think about it for a minute, and cut folks some slack. They've got issues, too.

Now, some of us have more issues than others. That would be them dumbasses that Thelma and Louise love on and bring into the light. Course, I hear tell that the light they see is usually because they've been smacked with a purse upside the head.

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