February 7, 2018

“Is it a good idea to look for a cure for autism?”

Autism isn’t a disease, so “cure” isn’t the right word. But whatever you call it, autistics have different opinions about whether they’d prefer to live without autism.

As for me, no part of my identity is untouched by autism. I can see how it’s at the root of all (yes, all!) of my preferences, talents, habits, skills, and greatest delights. I wouldn’t give that up, even to be free of its problems.

Part of me wants others to have that option available if they want it. But another part of me is scared that if the option existed, it might be forced on all autistics.

Practically speaking, a lot of anti-autism research seems to focus on ways to detect autism before birth – the very worst kind of “cure.” If parents in the future have the opportunity to choose whether or not to bring an autistic soul into the world, I hope with all my heart that they choose life.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.