Autism: We Don't Need to "Cure" the Disorder, We Need to Improve Understanding & Acceptance by Carrie Watts
“I hate autism. I want a cure for my child.” These words burn through me. No matter how often I hear them, the reaction is just as visceral. But not from anger. Oh, I don’t deny a flash of anger at the implication that me and my children need to be “cured” of our personalities and quirks. But the idea that parents could feel this way about their child brings me intense sadness.
How alone must the parents feel? Their families must be at breaking point, without the correct support in place. I have been there. I understand the agonies that come with a non-verbal, violent, overloaded child who shows no awareness of you being any more special than a stranger. Being tested to your limits every day, knowing no one can “fix” it, is exhausting.
Everything you do is for that child, but she or he can’t show “normal” appreciation: hugs, kisses, words of love. I know why you might wish for a cure to that. But autism isn’t the enemy. Our expectations of “normal” are the problem. They hold us back from seeing how our autistic children show us love in their unique ways.
As parents, our job isn’t to make our children like everyone else; it is to love and support them fully. If we can't do it, how can we expect it of anyone else?