In my “Fleecing” article, I come down hard on pretty much every single treatment as being a potential refuge for quacks and quackery. And anyone caring to read the comments can see that there is a considerable amount of passion on both sides of the issue. I have one comment in moderation that I’m still trying to decide what to do with it because it is so inflammatory.
Parents of children all around the world are trying all sorts of different interventions and approaches. I don’t believe there is any one cause of autism so there will not be any one treatment or preventative measure a body can take. However, I am not going to believe ANY claims of miracles and cures. Sorry. If you have one, submit your DVD videos to some respected science professionals and get your story published in something that is peer reviewed. Then we can talk. Until then, you’re an aberration at best, and a liar who is in denial at worst. I simply do not trust such claims. I have been robbed, cheated, hoodwinked and bamboozled out of tens of thousands of dollars because of the crap people peddle in the name of a cure.
I don’t even want to hear about it. Really. I know there are tons of parents out there in the mad scramble to find the miracle and I wish them all well. But I’m moving on.
Thomas has issues that look a bit more serious than his more typical sibling. He is different than most people. He’s exceptional. What Thomas brings to the world is a challenge to others. People who would like everything to be perfect and stress-free and “normal” and simple and easy are going to have a hard time with Thomas. None of those things apply when dealing with him. Instead of the merry-go-round we got a rooler coaster, and he’s a real screamer! It is never boring. It never stays the same. He requires diligence and patience. He constantly challenges the world to become a better place. People are challenged and stretched when he is around. This is not a bad thing. He makes spotting lazy, intolerant, simple-minded people a lot easier. He brings out the best and the worst at the same time.
He’ll be turning 8 in February. For almost 8 years we have been fighting the good fight and he is what he is despite our efforts to turn him into something we think is better. For my part, I’m looking at giving the search for a cure a rest. I understand those who are looking and understand why they look. I don’t mean to rob anyone of their hope.
But it is also okay to move on, towards peace, acceptance and even a joy. This is sort of what the Christmas season is supposed to be all about. Hope is truly part of it, but the other aspects are as well. We are not less loving because we happen to love our children the way they are presented to us. I think when they are very young, we should try to do the best we can to help them and move them towards having an easier time in a world that values conformity. But at some point (and I don’t pretend to know where that is) there comes a time when the person has to be themselves and they and the world are going to have to find a way to get along with each other.
I’m all for trying various interventions but I would enjoin readers to be wary of any approach that demands that you get married to it or turn it into some sort of religion. I guess that’s what is bothering me most about the various factions within the autism community, is that each is trying to gain more and more converts to whatever their gospel happens to be. And whenever one person speaks against it or fails to subscribe to it, they are treated as some sort of heretic.
As a Christian, I believe God’s grace extends to all those with various disabilities and extends outward to those who care for them. But woe to those who attempt to create a new religion surrounding the disability! And so it is that I’m not interested in joining any sort of cure cult or treatment cult or intervention sect. If I try one thing or another and it doesn’t work, I’ll feel just fine moving on without believing that my soul or the soul of my son is in mortal peril. In fact, I live with the assurance that his soul is just fine no matter what kind of label is put upon him. He is not “incomplete” or “lost.” He is still becoming and I’ll do my best to help him become all he can be. And I’ll be proud of him whether or not he still has autism.