Tag Archives: autism cure

Curing autism: why is it controversial?

I continue to ponder why some people say they “don’t believe” in treatment or cure for autism.  I was poking around the Internet and discovered a post on About.com by Lisa Jo Rudy.

“When we argue about whether or not autism, per se, should be cured, I don’t believe we’re debating about whether to help kids (or adults) improve speech, motor skills, academic skills or job skills. In fact, I suspect, we really can agree that all of these are worthy goals.

“Rather, we’re debating about whether the ways of perceiving and thinking about the world which are common among people with autism are differences to celebrate or disorders to cure. And our disagreements on this issue create a huge gulf,” she wrote.

I think she is right on, here.  How can I tell my daughter I want to “cure” her when she is doing so well in so many ways, at age 21, finishing up pharmacy tech school soon, working as a theater usher …

Well, actually, we had this conversation about a year ago. She herself is interested in anything that might help. She was waiting for me to bring it up, watching me take her younger brother for testing and treatments.  She feels like a stranger in a strange land, and would prefer not to.

So I took her to the chiropractor, and then after a while to the DAN! doctor.  She is on several supplements.  I can’t tell if there is a major change, so I guess there isn’t.  I am hopeful for gradual change though.

One in Six

I am thinking about this book I just read. Bryan Jepson, M D, wrote Changing the Course of Autism, publishing it in 2007. He reported that in 2004 the CDC “published an autism ‘ALARM,’ acknowledging that the current rate of autism spectrum disorders in the US was one in 166.”

The most alarming statistic though is this one:   Also in 2004, the CDC noted that a developmental disability and/or behavior problem was being diagnosed in one child out of every six.

A few years have passed; now it is 2009. But there isn’t any evidence that the epidemic is slowing down. The graphs in Jepson’s book all show rising rates of change.

Challenge from an old friend

An old friend recently challenged me on the autism cure possibility.  “I don’t believe in it,” she said.

We went over some of her objections. I thought I would reproduce them here, and my responses.

1. You should have a doctor overseeing all these supplements. They can cause chemical changes in the body, and do harm.

I did have an MD familiar with the Yasko protocol consult over the phone near the outset, and then
took Mike to an applied kinesiologist chiropractor to evaluate the various supplements. She got rid of at
least half of them and added a few of her own.  I haven’t taken Mike to a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) MD yet, but I want to when we have the money. I did take his sister Shannon, who had also been under the chiropractor’s oversight. The MD, Amy Davis, said the chiropractor had been “right on” in her choice of supplements for Shannon.

2. There isn’t really an autism epidemic. It’s just that they are identifying it more now than they did before. Previously, there must have been people like this who were undiagnosed.

My brother, born in 1957, did not speak til he was five, and is autistic. There were essentially NO other kids like him around.  We thought he was unique until he was in his 30s.  Now there are plenty of kids like that around.  I have lived in both time periods and see an enormous difference.  I can see an enormous difference just from about 1997, when Shannon was diagnosed with Asperger’s and we had to explain what it was to her school.  Now all the schools know what it is and deal with it all the time. In Silicon Valley there are whole schools full of kids with autism, I hear.

3. Mike is doing better now than a year ago in school. That must be because he got the aides in school a year ago.

He is actually doing much better all around, not just in school. This includes time at home, such as summer. He is getting along with his brothers. He speaks with embarassment of some of the situations he caused previous to getting on the supplements.

4. If you think vaccines might be a cause of autism, would you refuse to vaccinate your children if you had it to do again? (Isn’t this dangerous?)

I would delay vaccines as long as possible and space them out as much as possible.  I know the current vaccine protocols require many more shots than my kids endured. Since I don’t know the details, I would certainly reserve the right to not vaccinate them “on time.” I might join the people who are homeschooling to avoid vaccines at young ages.

As for danger, I think the danger to the children who are being vaccinated far outweighs the danger of their contracting an awful disease and dying at a very young age.  The vaccine protocol, with certain shots given at certain ages, is untested as a whole.  There is testing only for each shot.  The overall effect is untested. Now, why should I put my child in an untested and possibly dangerous situation like that? When he is a little older, and his immune system can handle it, let him be vaccinated. I had measles, I had mumps.  My immune system is probably stronger for that fact.

What is it about the vaccines that may cause autism?  I don’t know. It may be the sheer amount of viral material that overwhelms the young system.  Having toxic levels of mercury in the shots during the 1990s didn’t help.

5. I think autism might be caused by poor maternal bonding, creating an attachment issue.

I actually know all about this because another of my triplets, not Mike, had an attachment issue. Through counseling and work on the bond at age 13 or so, he was delivered from the attachment problem. In fact during the acute phase of the attachment issue, he appeared to have Asperger’s and was diagnosed as such. But now that the bond is healing, it is clear he doesn’t have Asperger’s.

But I think it would be a major error to apply the bonding model to all autistic kids. This is the discredited “refrigerator mother” theory that was in vogue when my autistic brother was a child.  My brother was diagnosed as autistic when he was about three.  But my mother rejected the diagnosis because it came with a finger of blame–mothers of autistics were said to cause the condition by being refrigerator mothers.  She knew that wasn’t the case; I did too. she was no refrigerator mother, I can testify.