Monday, December 26, 2011

It's ALL in your mind!...or, is it?

I just read about an article that came out not too long ago in the journal Nature and was discussed on MSNBC in November (see Autism can be an "advantage", says researcher). Throughout the article were comments like the following:
"By emphasizing the strengths of people with autism, deciphering how people with autism learn and avoiding language that frames autism as a defect, researchers can shape the discussion of autism in society, Mottron said." (from article
I've seen many articles like this, but they never really bothered me...until now.  I dunno...maybe I'm in a mood!

Or, perhaps because, throughout the article, nowhere does the reporter or the author discuss the importance of the medical ramifications of this disorder.  Or the toll the medical ramifications take on families.  The pain, confusion, depression, and the body-gone-haywire sense to Autism is nowhere to be found.  The meltdowns, the digestive problems, the sensory overstimulation, the inability to speak....all are minimized.  The real danger of this sort of "research" resides in the fact that the researcher is attempting to silence a huge part of the story; it's the part of the story that more affects quality of life than any other factor, and that includes social attitudes. 

When, oh, when will these researchers come up with something that actually helps??  Do something that a real ETHICAL researcher would do...research something that will help alleviate some suffering in the world.

An article such as this does nothing for most of the families living with Autism that I know, including mine.  Autism is fine!  Autism can help the WORLD!

-- It would be nice if our world were that rosy! why did I breathe a sigh of (partial) relief when I learned my youngest was a girl?  why do I vigilantly watch my youngest with paranoia now as she hits that "critical age" to ensure that I catch ANY sign of abnormality?  why do my fellow Warrior parents hold their collective breath whenever they see something that could be "one of the signs"? 

Look.  If Autism was just a "different way of thinking"...then you might be correct.  But that's the's not.  "Thinking"...hmmm...sounds like someone thinks Autism is merely a mental issue!  Here we go again!

Autism is serious business.  If you want to dig into some real research, dig the SCIA study stats, taken straight from a study that is currently going help people with Autism be the best and healthiest they can be.

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