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Do Children With Autism Want to Be Cured?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis. And disorders on the autism spectrum are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States each year. Advocate Jenny McCarthy says her son Evan, 7, has been healed from the developmental disorder. It's a claim that many refute. Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter, Ryan, 12, wrote My Brother Charlie ($11), a children's book to spread autism awareness. The text is loosely based on the relationship that Ryan has with her twin brother, RJ, who has autism. At one point in the story, Callie (the main character) talks about what she'd like to do for her twin brother Charlie. It says:

I wish I could crawl inside Charlie's world and move things around for him and me. I know Charlie wants to be in my world, fitting in, making friends, having fun and laughing.

This sentiment of wanting a child to fit in is what motivates and exhausts Adam and Kristina Braverman on NBC's Parenthood in their efforts to help their son Max who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. As parents, as sisters, as brothers, we want our children, our siblings to live like us, but is it what they want?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I mean... really *on* the fence... why isn't there an edit-comment button yet? Oh and by amphetamines I mean adderall:
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
You know what, let me rephrase what I said: I like this question because it truly makes me think, but I don't like the YES-or-NO poll format. This is a hard question for me to answer... my girl isn't autistic, so it's not something I truly understand. My neighbor has two autistic kids; for a while I couldn't stand them because they were so ill behaved- standing at the fence, glaring me down, holding a small hatchet once! (they've gotten better since then)- but I can't hate them for it. It's a real, psychological disorder. I relate it closely to bipolar or OCD. But there are adults who have either bipolar or OCD and wouldn't have it any other way. So why would kids be different? But you know who will make that decision, for the most part, should we ever find a proven cure? Pharmaceutical companies. The sick bastards. The one I'm really one the fence about is ADHD. Some say it's real, some say it's not, but whatever. You know what they do about it? They prescribe amphetamines to children! AMPHETAMINES! Amphetamines cure NOTHING! Never have, never will. It sickens me.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
For those who would claim that being autisiic is merely a personality trait, I would encourage you to look ino the vast amount of public money and resources that re devoted to an autistic person over the course of his or her lifetime - if autism was curable, then it would be a severe disservice to the individual, the family who is forced to make a great many sacrifices, and the public who is required to finance special education, housing and care, to do anything other than pursue that cure. I cannot imagine an autistic child not wanting to be able to communicate with his family.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
nice post.... no product placement and a very interesting viewpoint which i've never considered more of this on lilsugar would be awesome
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I voted yes... but I think this is just a poorly worded question with not enough answer choices.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
Does that matter? There is no cure. It's in the DSM manual. Most of those who have diagnosis will need either life long care or some assistance. Their life expectancy is "normal". My now 12 year old daughter has autism and has been in a care facility for nearly 3 years, since her aggression toward her younger siblings and her ability to escape our home meant none of our children were safe. The cost of her care is $8,500 a month. At 18 the state takes over the entire cost of her care. So 1 in 110, well do the math. The financial cost alone will break the state of California at some point.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i think it depends on the case. my college roommate did autism researched and nannied for a little autistic boy. he was unbelievably smart, but couldn't express it vocally. he was involved in a conference on autism where kids could ask him questions and he would type back to them. somebody asked him if he wanted to be cured. he said absolutely not. he is who he is and is happy to be the way he is. (although he put it much more eloquently)
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
Why wouldn't they want to be mainstreamed? From the interviews I've seen from people that claim they have been cured from autism, they talk about seeing and wanting to do what they see around them but being frustrated by not being able to actually complete the task.
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