If You Could Heal Autism...

Would You Want to Heal Your Child's Autism?

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I am an admin over at the Special Needs Moms Network, and that means I get to see a lot of hot topics being debated.  This week there was a post about curing your child's Autism.  The opinions in the Autism Parent community run the gamut. Some people say it is incurable, others believe it is absolutely curable, and many wonder, "What in the world makes you think we need a cure?!"

I usually share at least one of my two cents there, however, I am also aware that sometimes my whole two cents are better left for this arena.  It got me thinking about a time that one of my most treasured friends and I were sitting on our back porch discussing this same topic.

So would you?  

She and I were admiring his quirkiness and amazing abilities.  She told me that he was one of the neatest little people she had ever met, and I emphatically agreed.  At the time, he was still struggling quite badly with Echolalia, but he never struggled to put a grin on your face!  My friend paused and asked, "If you could heal his Autism, just wave a wand, would you?"

"No."  My answer was immediate and resolute.  She looked shocked at how fast I was with that answer.  He is who he is.  He isn't just Autistic, but who he is has been greatly dependent upon his disorder as well as the effects of it in our life.  We are extremely close because of it.  I admire his commitment to fairness (even though it causes us a problem or two sometimes).  His ability to retain an astonishing amount of information in detail gets me every time.

Obviously, life isn't all sunshine for either of us.  He still has meltdowns somewhat frequently.  Trying to manage a 9 year old having a meltdown in Target is no easy feat.  Literally, a 9 year old, rolling on the ground in Target, shouting at the top of his lungs.  We, of course, still battle all the mental fatigue and over stimulation, etc...

Early Intervention & Beyond

We have traveled the spectrum from Non-verbal and severely Autistic to where we are today.  We do still work on his weak spots.  Actively.  So I don't mean to say that I am happy he struggles and that we should love all Autism has to offer to the point that we do nothing.  Far from it.

Essentially, what I told my friend was this, "The son I had raised, nurtured, and bonded with for almost 4 years (at that point) has Autism.  If he were to have been born without it-fine.  Making progress on the things that challenge him and cause him pain-great!  But, to wave a wand and erase his Autism tomorrow completely would mean the virtual death of the child I have raised and fought with.  I would now have a stranger to get to know all over again.  While I am sure I would grow to love the new him, and I would be happy that he had different struggles...  I would always mourn the loss of the child that was."

 All kids have strengths and weaknesses.  For me, I feel like trading one set for another is to tell my son he isn't okay.  More than okay, He is beautiful. While I would love to see a world without the painful parts of Autism, I would hate to see the world without the beauty of it either.

I am sure we may have different opinions on this, would love to hear yours or your story in the comment section below!

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