A recent Facebook meme (where you’re supposed to cut and paste something and put it on your status) was about autism. Anyone else notice a variation in the message?
Some people said they prayed (or hoped) for a cure. I could get behind that. Others said people with autism don’t want a cure, they want acceptance.
The latter were either parents of autistic children, or people who were clearly close to the parent of an autistic child (clear because the person was thanking them in the comments and providing this information). So I felt disinclined to do any questioning.
Acceptance is better than rejection. But really, we’re not supposed to want a cure? Has autism become something we’re supposed to embrace? Just another lovely little variation under the umbrella of human diversity? Please, no.
This stirs up the same disturbance I got from a lengthy questionnaire from Cedars-Sinai . It was market research to gauge how a parent would feel about them using leftover samples (stuff that would otherwise get thrown away) to perform research to cure various theoretical (I think) hereditary diseases. I answered yes, yes, yes, for pages and pages. I’d let you keep whatever you wanted; I’d let you do whatever you wanted with it; yes it would be nice if you told me your results but even if you don’t, I won’t hold it against you. Of course, do whatever you can to find a cure it or at least screen.
The disturbance was because they even feel they need to ask. Apparently there are people who don’t want diseases cured; who don’t want an in utero screening method developed so that even if they don’t want to know, others who want to know, can.
Thanks to modern technology, I know a lot about the child I’m carrying: his gender, his chromosomes, his skeletal structure. One thing I can’t find out is whether he will have autism. I am unequivocally certain that I don’t want him to. And if he does, I am just as certain that I want the world to crawl uphill over broken glass if needed to find a way to fix it.
And if he does — my god, am I expected to find a way to feel like it’s a good thing? Please, no. It’s bad enough that women with breast cancer are told to believe the disease improves them. It’s bad enough there are best-selling books telling us if we wish for things hard enough we get them. We can’t give one inch more ground to the insanity of magical thinking.