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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Went to an interesting talk today from someone with Aspergers. He's old enough to have lived through the bad old days of a "childhood schizophrenia" diagnosis and shock therapy(!). Yeah.

Anyway, he was talking a little about how he was very "anti-cure." I've run into this a lot among adults on the spectrum. I think part of it is his childhood and the particular attempts to cure that were made on him. Um, yeah. I'd be anti that sort of cure, too.

And I think a lot of it is the difference in what people mean when they say, "cure." I say "treatment," because that's what I mean, but I know people who say "cure" and mean the same thing. My goal is to raise an adult capable of taking care of himself, earning wages, and finding happiness.

Even if they found some sort of magic pill tomorrow, chances are that it wouldn't actually eliminate all traces of organic brain difference between my son and typically developing peers. That just isn't realistic.

If there is some sort of "cure," it will likely be in either genetic avoidance or environmental trigger avoidance. Sort of like Down Syndrome or Phenylketonuria. People can choose to avoid having a child with Down Syndrome. (I have my doubts about that 90% statistic and it's applicability in the US) People can avoid the mental retardation associated with PKU through special diet beginning in infancy. Knowing these things hasn't done squat to help adults with either, and it never will.

So basically, a cure would most likely be too late to help any of our kids. And that isn't a death sentence or the end of the world. It just is.

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