Because I can’t keep my mouth shut.

by statia on May 15, 2009

I’m nesting like crazy.   My feet feel like they’re going to split open like hot dogs in a microwave and to top it off, I’m getting sick, again.  Seriously.  My immune system can suck it.  I swear.  So yes, still pregnant, crankier than ever.   Much like fetus 2.0′s older brother.  This kid is content to stay in there forever.  I apparently have a very comfortable uterus.  Who knew?  The others didn’t stick around long enough to know what they were missing.

Anyway.

I came across a study today stating that Autism can be cured.   While the Mini did not get an Autism diagnosis, this is something that is still near and dear to my heart.  Really and truly.  And this article, sort of angers me in some way.  Or maybe it’s just that pregnancy pissiness.

I actually knew a kid at one time who had full blown Autism.  This was maybe ten years ago, now, and I can tell you, he wasn’t what the Mini was like a year ago.    He was a great kid in his own right.  Funny, intelligent, and yes, even loving, despite showing all of the true Autistic characteristics.   I can’t imagine how their parents mourned the loss of the son they would never have when they first found out.   Because for anyone, it is a mourning process knowing that your kid is atypical.

I’ve said before that I think that there are two types of possible “Autism”, if you want to call it that.   But I take issue with this study for quite a few reasons.

  • While I truly believe in early intervention, I think kids are getting diagnosed way too early.  Had you said this to me last year, I would have disagreed with you.  I wanted answers.   But looking back, and seeing how much the Mini has changed and how much kids change between even 18 months and two years.   I know it helps a lot of people get the proper therapy they need for their kids.  I’m not knocking that.  But I think that there are too many disorders out there and doctors are quick to diagnose at a young age.    And then their diagnosis changes.   Did they really have Autism?  I don’t know.
  • What about the kids with true, full blown Autism?  There are tons of very intensive behavorial modification therapy.   Is that really “curing” a disorder?    Again, I understand, parents want a typical child.   But how would your child feel about this, if they could actually communicate with you?   Sure they learn to look you in the eye, but it’s very uncomfortable for them, normal behaviors become mechanical.   I’m not talking about working with a toddler who might show red flags, and gets some early intervention help.  I’m talking about these kids that are receiving full time behavioral modification therapy.     My own personal thought is that I couldn’t imagine my son going through that type of therapy.   Yes, we have the help of early intervention.  They taught US how to play with him.  How a baby and toddler’s brain works.  How they learn (because as much as you’d like to think it comes natural to you as a parent, it really doesn’t, at least not for us).   They came over and played with him a few hours a week.  Is he still quirky?  Yes, he is.   But I’d like to know what toddler isn’t?  Kids are weird.

I feel as if these days, there needs to be a label for everything.  If the Meester were a toddler today, he’d probably be diagnosed on the spectrum.  He’s not the most social person in the world.  He hates large crowds, and there’s nothing more that will make him come unglued than something like a kid’s party or something equally as loud and discombobulated.   He loves all things physics and engineering.   Does that mean he’s Autistic?  No, I’d say that’s just his personality.    The Mini is largely the same way, and because of that, he gets a sensory/auditory processing label.  I just say that it is who he is.   I’m not saying that I didn’t go through a mourning process about everything we went through.   Not long after we got our evaluation done with Early Intervention,  I went into his room, scooped him up while he was sleeping and completely bawled.  Apologizing for anything I’d ever done wrong by him.   It took me a long time to learn what was him and what was possibly something else.   I wouldn’t say that he was ever Autistic, and that he’s “recovered.”  I  think he was definitely sick from something, but I’ll never know what that was.    We still struggle with his language issues on a daily basis.  He’ll overcome it, I have no doubt, but it’s very frustrating to have a parrot follow you around day in and day out.

I would love to believe that there is something that causes Autism, and that there will someday be a cure, but right now, I think it’s largely a genetic thing, and that studies like these (and Jenny drinking the fucking kool-aid) is going to set a lot of parents up for disappointment when their child doesn’t become “cured.”

{ 2 comments }

Betty M May 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I agree with you that it really doesn’t help to think of “cures” as such when it comes to the severe end of the autistic spectrum. Down the other end I think that some/many of the kids being put down there would not ever have had an autistic label put on them when I was a child. Bit odd maybe – bit overly “male’ in their likes and dislikes – but certainly not autistic. I’m not sure it necessarily helps.

I am really pleased that the interventions you did helped all of you.

Siera May 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Thank-you for writing this. From reading your blog and from an experience an acquaintance had with the MMR vaccine I am scared shitless of getting my son his. My fiancé and I have decided to withhold our son’s until he is 2.

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