I recently got into an online discussion with a fellow blogger about a completely hypothetical topic that has been popping up on several blogs about autism. Now keep in mind this is completely fantasy and I know it, and hopefully these other bloggers know it too.
The argument is about what if there was this (hypothetical) magical pill that you could give your child to cure autism...would you give it?
So I was reading this woman's post about how she probably wouldn't give it to her child because it would be too scary for the autistic child to suddenly be "normal" after being autistic and that normal isn't all it's cracked up to be and how autistic people can lead happy and fulfilling lives and how you can be normal and get worse things, like cancer; and basically how terrific autistic children are and how she doesn't feel the need to try to "fix" her child because they have accepted the child, embraced the autism and love her all the same (I'm paraphrasing here).
While I completely respect her opinion, I felt compelled to chime in on the comment board because it really struck a cord with me.
First of all, autism is anything but beautiful. I don't care who you are. The child is beautiful; the child's soul and heart and spirit...all beautiful. But to talk about autism as this wonderful and precious gift, I think, is in some way trying to be almost righteous about it. Like, isn't my child special, he's autistic? As if autistic children are the "chosen" ones.
I know that some autistic people live happy and healthy lives. But talk to any verbal high functioning autistic adult who can put into words what it is like to be autistic and most will tell you how they cannot self regulate easily, have problems communicating, experience great feelings of turmoil, usually feel out of sync and uneasy in their own skin.
Would I give the Doodle a magic pill to cure his autism? ABSOL-FREAKING-LUTELY.Without question or hesitation. And it has nothing to do with loving him any less if he was autistic or "normal".
As a parent, you want what is best for your child...
Is autism in the best interest of children? Life is hard enough for "normal" people, but a person with special needs, inability to communicate and developmental delays has to work so much harder and for obvious reasons has much more frustration in a "normal" world. Autistic children have it harder in school and as adults functioning independently. Some autistic children are violent and hurt themselves and others and have no self control. Some autistic children don't know the feeling of love and can't stand human touch. They go their entire lives locked inside themselves. Some autistic children (and adults) need to be institutionalized. And I'm just scraping the surface here.
With autism comes health issues...I won't list them all, but if the Doodle's seizures are part of his autism and his coordination, speech and muscle tone and sleep would be normal if the autism was gone, I would give him the pretend pill. I want to fix him! I'd do anything to fix him! And I am in no way ashamed to say that. It doesn't make me any less of a mom to want my child to have a chance at life; to be able to go to college or fall in love and have children of his own if that is what he wants for himself.
But that's just me.