Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Autism Advocacy

Lately I’ve found myself looking more closely into an autism advocacy group called “Acceptance vs Cure.” And I wanted to say that I was misguided and didn’t mean to antagonize a friend.

As I have stated before, I want both: an awareness--an understanding of autism; and an acceptance of autism for the sake of our children—don’t we all?

However, I do support the studies of autism; to learn and understand more about autism and other similar disorders.

Some people believe that autism should be left alone and accepted for who they are in this world, as a difference. I agree to a point. I certainly want my children accepted in this world for who they are—who the hell wouldn’t? I also believe that my daughter is who she is—her strong, vibrant and playful personality defines her. I only wish that some of her own personal struggles with autism could be resolved, like: comprehension and verbal language ability, sensory overload and behavioral issues; if only to help her live an easier life.

I found this quote from Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor of developmental psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge and an autism researcher, I think he says it eloquently:

"I do think there is a benefit in trying to help people with autism-spectrum
conditions with areas of difficulty such as emotion recognition. Nobody would
dispute the place for interventions that alleviate areas of difficulty, while
leaving the areas of strength untouched. But to talk about a 'cure for autism'
is a sledge-hammer approach and the fear would be that in the process of
alleviating the areas of difficulty, the qualities that are special - such as
the remarkable attention to detail, and the ability to concentrate for long
periods on a small topic in depth - would be lost. Autism is both a disability
and a difference. We need to find ways of alleviating the disability while
respecting and valuing the difference."

1 comment:

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

I think that last sentence of his quote is spot-on.