When it comes to the treatment of autism, people with autism are rarely consulted.
Autism is often characterized by silence, but many who live with this condition have a lot to say when invited to speak.
Overwhelmingly, people with autism will say that they do not want to be cured. They like who they are and they like the way their minds work.
There are, however, a few things they would like the non-autistic world and researchers to address:
- Physical comfort: Autistic senses are often hyperactive; lights are brighter, sounds are louder, and fabrics can hurt the skin.
When the physical body is comfortable, it is easier to focus on social skills and meltdowns are less likely to occur.
- Safety: For a person with autism, being in a large group of people can feel like stepping onto a battlefield. Adrenaline begins to pump and panic sets in.
Relief from this type of stress, without addiction or uncomfortable side effects would be extremely helpful.
- Respect: Lack of response does not mean a lack of understanding. Autistic individuals can, in many cases, understand what is happening around them.
Those who work with autistic people, and the general public, need to be educated to show respect for them, even if they seem unresponsive.
People can say very hurtful things when they don’t believe that another person can understand them. If a child or adult did not have autism, this type of behavior would be considered rude and would not be tolerated.
It would seem that the biggest proponents of an autism “cure” are those without autism.
A large number of autistics would rather not be cured.
They just want a few issues addressed, so they can survive in the world more comfortably, and share their gifts and talents.
They are, indeed, speaking if the world will listen.