Personally I hear the words “The Cure Debate” and wonder why people are discussing a Gothic Rock band formed in Crawley West Sussex in 1976 who had a string of hits in the 1980s and eventually disappeared in the late 1990s.
However “The Cure Debate” is something entirely different in the world of #ActualAutistic Vs Warrior Parents & Zealot Scientist. Since getting a diagnosis of being Autistic I’ve done what all good Researchers and Analyst do and gone searching for information about my condition and finding there is huge gaps in the research especially to do with Women and Autism as well as a huge amount of misinformation and frankly bad research done on minimal numbers of male participants. The research data and minimal information I’m finding comes from three very distinct groups who each have their own unique view point and opinions on living with Autism.
- Actual Autistics who technically should be the subject matter experts after all we live this life 24/7. However strangely enough despite the fact many of us are in our own way incredibly good communicators we are often ignored completely. Or worse we are dismissed as fraudulently claiming to be autistic because every one knows only white, males who are diagnosed as children and are none verbal and have violent rages can be classified as Autistic
- Warrior Parents who claim they speak for their Autistic Offspring and desperately want answer as to why their child or children are Autistic. Unfortunately the ones who often get to heard or published are the incredibly loud and irritating raving anti-vaccines who are looking for anything that doesn’t point to their own gene pool as the reason their child or children are autistic
- Zealot Scientist on the hunt for a CURE to ride future generations of autism and free society from this horrible burden and ensure that the gene pool of the future is pure
If that last group doesn’t send shivers down your spine it should. For those not well versed in history the search to rid the world of bad genes used to be called Eugenics and was adored by people like the Nazi Regime of Germany – yeah the creeps who slaughter millions of people firstly in mental hospitals then concentration camps because they were deemed genetically impure.
I don’t have kids so I have no idea how it feels to have a child or children who are autistic and to desperately want to balm someone or something other than your own genetic code for what your child or children must struggle with for their entire life. My mum/dad could probably write and entire series of Bloggs on the subject covering everything from frustration with the medical fraternity to the fear of what will happen to your child once you are no longer able to help them. The fear of the future minus mum/dad is very real for parents of autistic people who are none communicative and thus locked in their own body & mind unable to function independently.
The thing that seems to escape the attention of people who want to cure autism are two things. Firstly you’d be messing with genetic coding that directly effects the human brain and any reputable neuroscientist will tell you that we have something like a less than 5% understanding of how the human brain actually works, so messing with it’s genetic makeup is a very bad idea. Secondly without autistic people most of the research into DNA, equipment used to do that research and analysis of that research would never have happened because it was done by people who are on the autism spectrum.
In fact minus autism the light bulb and telecommunication may never have been invented by Thomas Edison. The theory of gravity would probably not have been found without Isaac Newton autistic view of the world nor would E=MC² have been discovered if Albert Einstein’s brain was neurotypical.
Before you go yeah but that’s all science stuff. Without the gift of an autistic brain The Sistine Chapel ceiling would be boring as all hell (Michelangelo was autistic). The Marriage of Figaro written by Mozart used by many including Walt Disney in Bugs Bunny cartoons wouldn’t exist. Alice In Wonderland would never have been written by Lewis Carroll or turned into a fabulous movie by Tim Burton both of whom are autistic. For film buff Stanley Kubrick famous for Full Metal Jacket and a shit load of other films would not have been the visionary he was without being autistic.
Ironically there is a solid probability that Rosalind Elise Franklin the person who discovered the double helix (DNA) was what is now termed High Functioning Autistic, so the zealot scientist want to fix the gene code of the person directly responsible for their current research!
Please do not say to me “oh you have autism”, which indicates I have some kind of disease you can cure. I am autistic and I like me just the way I am!