Cure

Cure centers those who have not accepted autism (or any other disability) as a concrete and permanent part of a disabled person’s identity. Often, it is the parents of disabled individuals who have not yet been able to grasp the fact that their child is not “normal.” I loved how in the “Fixing Autism” video, the father (presumably) said that his daughter might not ever be “normal”, but she will be “the best Bianca that she can be.” This is an awesome perspective for the parent of an autistic child; to focus on allowing them to be the greatest version of themselves rather than trying to force them to be like the rest of society. On the topic of parenting, I felt that the “Defining Curebie-ism” article was a bit extreme in its claim about “Curebies” hating their autistic children. It reads, “To pay for whatever they see as a potential cure, many curebies go deeply into debt and then blame their child for ruining their life. There are some curebies who fantasize about killing their child, have no qualms about saying so while the child is listening, and seek to justify their murderous views by asserting that all parents of autistic children ‘share that hidden, dark thought.’” Sure, there are parents who endanger their child’s mental health with countless hours of therapies and treatments, which isn’t acceptable by any means, but how would they know if a parent fantasizes about killing their child? And even if there are parents who are this extreme, I feel like it is a very small percentage and doesn’t represent most parents or persons who believe in finding a cure.

The conversations that “cure” might deflect are those which discuss possible ways to enhance the life of an autistic individual, without trying to “delete” the autism. The idea of cure is not disability studies because from this perspective, disability is not a problem that needs to be fixed. Rather, Linton views disability as a construct that can find significance in a social and cultural context. In my opinion, once a person has a disability, no one should try to change or alter them because their disability is a huge part of who they are and it should be embraced. In that sense, I do agree with the idea of not finding a “cure” or a “fix.” However, I do not see a problem with researching the causes of a particuar disability, taking a preventative approach so that less people will be born disabled. I feel like there should be a greater focus on preventing autism in the first place rather than treating it once it has affected an individual. But until we can figure out exactly WHAT autism is and where it comes from, we cannot exactly do this. Either way, it is crucial that instead of trying to find a “cure” for autism, each autistic individual should be encouraged to be the best (and happiest) version of him or herself that they can be.

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