Saturday, September 12, 2015

What Causes Autism?

People have been searching for the cause of autism for decades. For most of this time, autism was looked at as an affliction—something that is acquired, as a disease would be. But autism isn’t something that you catch, like influenza. Rather, it is something that you are, like tall or left-handed or female. 

Autistic people were born that way. They will die that way, after living an autistic life. It is a characteristic of who they are. Having said that, there is no single expression of autism. More than a spectrum, autism is a varied landscape.

Stop looking for poisons in the environment, or something that is eaten or injected, as the cause for autism. Autism isn’t something that can be washed away or flushed out of a person.  People have caused a lot of harm by trying that—often using other poisons, ironically. 

Some parents and caregivers clutch to these dangerous therapies—attempts to “cure”—because they don’t understand the true cause of autism. If this is you, or someone you know, this message is essential.

Cherish autistic people for the unique individuals they are, with a different type of brain. You can’t cure it away. You shouldn’t want to. Autism is forever. Autistic children come from the love of two people, not from poison.


“Statistics keep going up, because cognitive pychology came along and sought to open the “black box” so now more children are being diagnosed”.  Said Kathy, mother of a son, and then continued: “There is an untold number of adults (hundreds of thousands, I suspect) who are on the spectrum that were never diagnosed, some of them living functional lives and some not. Whether those people would have been more well-adjusted adults had they known early on that they were on the spectrum is debateable, but I tend to think that knowledge is power, and I’m thankful that my son will grow up with that advantage. The narrative that there’s an external cause for autism reinforces the idea that there’s something wrong with being different. More importantly, there’s no scientific evidence that has survived the rigorous scientific process to back it up those claims outside of pseudoscience”.

Αnyway, just because we train a child to act as though he/she doesn’t have autism, doesn’t mean that they no longer have an autistic mind.
That’s not to say that we should reject speech therapy for speech delays, occupational therapy to improve certain social skills, etc. But therapies offering a “cure” are a whole different  thing, and are actually contrary to the cause of acceptance and understanding.


No comments: