July 10, 2009

Things that are especially bothering me today...

{gets on soapbox}

The whole Jenny McCarthy thing saying she "CURED!" her son's autism....

Why is it bugging me? A few reasons. One being the latest description of her life saying,

"And a son Evan, 6, who battled autism."

Battl-ED. Not battling, not living with, but battled, like he's been magically and completely cured. It's bogus and annoying and while maybe you made some great strides by modifying his diet and whatnot, he's still Autistic.

Meanwhile, like it's something to fight against. I mean, yes, you can get help dealing with autism, and you can learn how what steps to take to deal with specific behaviors, but it's not a fricking disease. There is nothing wrong with autistic people. They are regular people who happen to have autism.

And the whole thing about "curing" it. GAH.

I'd like to point you over to the May 16 Newsweek article Erasing Autism. Read the whole thing. I'll wait.... That kid they're interviewing? Autistic. Don't want to read it? Fine, I'll quote.

Autism is not a medical mystery that needs solving, he argues. It's a disability, yes, but it's also a different way of being, and "neurodiversity" should be accepted by society.

He doesn't believe autism can be, or should be, cured. His ultimate fear is this: a prenatal test for autism, leading to "eugenic elimination." If a test is developed one day, it will be used, he says. And that means people like him might cease to exist.

CEASE TO EXIST. It's bad enough that there's so much information nowadays that people are getting to choose whether or not they should keep a baby that *might* have Down's Syndrome. Now we're going to tell them they shouldn't have this kid because they *might* have Autism?

Have you ever even met someone with Autism? I have. My best friend has two little boys on two different ends on the Autism spectrum. Is there something wrong with them? No. There's not. In fact, I'd venture to say that those boys are two of the sweetest, most loving, and special boys I've ever met in my life. Do they have issues and challenges? Yeah. Would my friend even be the same person I love and admire if those boys had never come into being? No.

But this whole curing thing, and the debate about whether or not vaccines cause Autism... Phooey.

Instead of taking all your energy and vilifying the vaccination schedule, why don't you put that energy to good use and actually help an Autistic kid.

{gets off soapbox}