A Cure for Autism?

Definition

The concept of a cure for autism is very controversial within the autism community; advocates of neurodiversity see it as denying the reality of diverse neurology and the impact of that diversity on the person’s development.

Description

The idea of a cure for autism comes from thinking that autistic people need to be fixed and made non-autistic because their brains are considered broken or not as good as non-autistic brains. People who want to cure autism think that autism is separate from the rest of the autistic–that if you can somehow take away the autism, the person will still be the same. Some people think that making autism go away will reveal a secret normal person “under” autism. Other people who want to cure autism think that the way to address mistreatment associated with autism being a neurominority is to make the autistic person part of the neuromajority, as a neurotypical.

The Autistic community does not support a cure for autism. Autistic people feel that autism is a basic part of who they are, just like their gender or race or personality, and that they would not be the same without their autism. The Autistic community advocates for supports, services, and civil rights that will enable autistic people to live meaningful, self-directed lives as contributing citizens and members of the community, rather than eliminating a valuable way some people experience the world with a “cure.”

The Loud Hands Project does not support a cure for autism.

 -List of related media/links

-List of concrete examples

  • Usage example: “There is no known cure for autism.”

  • Case example: Some parents want to cure their autistic children because they think making autism go away will also make the problems that their children face go away.

  • Case example: Many autistics do not want a cure for autism because they see autism as part of who they are–making autism go away would make them go away, too.

  • Case example: Services, supports, and treatment for other medical problems autistic people might have are not cures for autism. These services are widely supported by the Autistic community.

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