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Featured Cure autism vs leave us alone - are they both wrong?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Full Steam, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    It seems there's two side to the debate.

    Cureists who want to cure the disease of autism as they see it.

    People with autism who think we are fine as we are, so just leave us alone. Autism is not a disease.


    These two camp seem irreconcilable at first, but I got thinking and it seems to me they are both flawed, and that the flaw comes not from the reality of autism, but from a single term being used to describe both our neurology, and the problems that many autistic people have.

    Imagine if being black and sickle cell anaemia had the same name (hope that's not offensive, I couldn't think of another example).

    If we had a word to describe our neurology, and another for our problems, would anyone mind people trying to cure our problems?

    But if they did the equivalent of trying to cure us of being black, society would understand our outrage, as it has obvious parallels.
     
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  2. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    While I seek no cure for myself,I am sure there are many out there that would take a cure in an instant.
    Fixing of these kind of issues could work for and against people if you stand back and look at the entire picture.

    Personally,fixing me would be a disservice to everyone else that would hinder me sharing what I consider a gift I received,courtesy of the autism spectrum ;)
     
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  3. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Smarter than the Average Bear V.I.P Member

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    I'd like an option of a cure to be available but I just know that this would be pushed on autistic people by their spouses, family and doctors.
     
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  4. dom

    dom Member

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    Only some people who are black have sickle cell anaemia. All people with sickle cell anaemia share a suite of symptoms. The symptoms are the disease. I think the discussion with autism is whether you believe the symptoms you experience are a disease which needs a cure or a state of being at one end of a continuum. Thus representing a small part of diverse personality traits. In much the same way as people are.of diverse sexuality. So.e people still attempt to cure homosexuality but it doesn't appear to be widely thought of as a disease or deviancy anymore.
     
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  5. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    I used the black/sickle cell analogy because it's one half positive- being black. One half negative - possibility for nasty experience.

    Austin is similar for many people.

    I would never give up my positive or quirky traits as I wouldn't be me, even though they've made life difficult at times, but I'd give up burnout from over load in a second.

    I'd give up methylation cycle issues, and chemical sensitivities just as fast, which many people on the spectrum suffer with.

    My points is that we separate autism (how awesome we are), from a bunch of stuff that hurts us and is more common in autists.
     
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  6. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    If you eradicate it,you don't get to pick and choose what parts you want and what you discard,it's all on or nothing the way I see it.
    What you are describing is eliminating symptoms one at a time,which would likely start driving a school to medicate more,another part that some won't be comfortable with or may not give them ease at all.
    Kind of like it is now isn't it?
     
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  7. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    Why should it be all or nothing?

    The black or white mentality is purely human made illusion, nature is full spectrum never black or white, though is it?

    And whether to medicate or not is another argument entirely, and one that doesnt invalidate the point I'm making.

    If we separate autism from some of the problems some of us get then no one should ever consider parental genetic screening to be anything good (an example of an outcome I see from the separation)
     
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  8. dom

    dom Member

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    I understand, however I do wish to be different at times. Because of social and communication difficulties. If we start tailoring ourselves we may well do away with something valuable. Like a Newton or an Einstein or a Sylvia Plath. Would they have been what they were if not the products of adversity. In our small ways so are we all.
     
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  9. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    No, no, I don't mean stop being different - just stop suffering.

    I don't see not fitting in as our problem, that's societies mistake.
     
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  10. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    No,I tend to disagree because I saw it as a cherry pick.
    My understanding of it is that it is just another wiring method that is applied to a computer. You have a different operating system that's considered outside of the norm,but what's to say what the norm should be.
    Some may want it while others won't...
     
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  11. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    Ok, let's use the OS analogy.

    I use Linux, which is great for many things, but it has been difficult to adopt for mainstream users for many reasons.

    That shouldn't, and doesn't stop us trying to make it more user friendly and accessible to low tech users.

    The weaknesses are not always intrinsic, and they can be shored up and even cured.

    That opens up what we call a weakness, but that's outside the scope of what I've been thinking.

    When I thought I was NT, if someone offer me a pill that allowed me to sleep only 4 hours per night, with no side effects, I'd have (and still would) take it.
     
  12. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    I'm missing the point here somehow. I think what you were trying to ask was would you want to pick and choose what parts of autism you would to either toss
    or keep. I took it as "do you want a cure for all of it"
     
  13. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    No, my point was that if we call our differnce "Autism", and instead of lumping sensory overload, self harming, depression, anxiety etc into the umbrella term "Autsim" we speak of them as seperate, and they can be treated as discrete conditions.



    I think I should have waited until I'd fully woken up to post this thread :oops:
     
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  14. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    I think you just answered your own question. All those conditions have their own names.
    However, ...
    Often people are better being 'treated' holistically - everything interacts, nothing can be treated in isolation. And treatments for NTs often don't work for aspies due to over/under sensitivities/reactions.
     
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  15. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    I read it as I saw it when you first posted it...it makes better sense now that you have explained it. They already attempt to treat the "traits" individually as they appear, not the entire umbrella of autism itself,so once again,where is the change?
     
  16. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    Ok - let me think that through.

    I thought I had a point, but not so sure now. Got to work now, so it's going to be 8 hours or so before I get to think!
     
  17. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh, i see. That kinda makes sense. So it's not the autism but the "ancillary" problems that go alaong with it. I thought that once,too. If they could cure the crap but leave me a thinker. I would like that.
     
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  18. brookegaf

    brookegaf Active Member

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    I feel like the wording of this matters. While yes, finding strategies or "cures" that help with some of the distressing characteristics of asd would be beneficial for most.. eliminating all features of autism or asbergers would be ludicrous. How boring would it be if we all had the same way of viewing the world? Would any great discoveries or progress still be made?
    I think some people see difference and try and put on back into a comfortable box where in reality, those differences should be celebrated by the scientific community.
     
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  19. wight

    wight Well-Known Member

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    Based on the latest information about brain structure, function, and autism:
    A "cure" for autism, of any degree, would require a complete change of physical brain structure, neuron by neuron and all of the connections and interactions between the brain regions. BTW, this is something on the order of 10^500, just running the permutations of brain region potential interactions. It's far larger scope than that when you get down to the neuron level. Further, you would have to change the genetics that underly the chemical differences in how the brain functions.

    In short, a "cure" would in most probability result in dramatic personality changes and you would cease to exist as the person you know as you.

    This is the fundamental flaw of the "cure" side of the argument, it's based on an outdated, uninformed and false belief that somehow the "bad" parts can be removed without impact. It is, in my opinion, an immoral and unethical position in that it neglects the sentience and autonomy of one kind of person in favor of another.
     
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  20. Kristyn

    Kristyn Active Member

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    Because autism is a developmental disorder any "cure" or treatment developed would probably have to be implemented in early childhood. By adulthood, a person is already shaped but a child is still malleable. I do believe in brain plasticity but I think the reason so many adults with ASD are opposed to a cure is because they see their autism as part of their identity and don't want it stripped away. However, a "cure" for young children would simply have that child develop differently, not necessarily remove their identity.

    Yes I do think a treatment more effective and humane than ABA is needed urgently and severely. Whether or not a cure, I'm not sure. A lot of this is a semantics question. What does a cure mean? It is something we will have to decide when we are faced with a potential cure. For now, it is all just abstract thinking and concepts. It also matters how autism is defined. Some view their autism as a big part of their identity, which others just view it as their deficits.

    Many of us here are "high functioning" but obviously still struggle greatly in life. Those on the more severe end of the spectrum struggle even more than we do, so I do believe if there was a treatment to increase their functioning, it'd be a positive thing.
     
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