I participate on a few message boards related to autism, autism intervention, and behavior analysis. Recently, someone posted a discussion about a “new cure” for autism. One of the members of the message board responded to the post and I think his description of what snake oil salesmen are doing to families and people diagnosed with autism and what it means to be autistic is a very well articulated. I asked him if I could re-post his response for others to see, and he said yes. Below is his original post followed by some tips that he gave when I sent him an email asking if I could post this.
“In response to whatever is commented above. Autism is not treatable, you cannot create a new highway of neurotransmitters between the left side of the brain and he right side of the brain with Omega 3 (just an example). Such products stimulate the processes already there like road maintenance. Any healthy diet or supplement will have a possitive effect on people with Autism. However, do the same test on people without autism and the results are the same.
My example; take the study in prisons with high violence rates. They provided better quality food with a higher vitamine and mineral concentration and the violence got significantly less. Case conclusion; people who feel more healthy are more relaxed and are lesser influenced by triggers from the outside.
This is what happens when you do treatments like this to autistic children. Food and their quality is vital for body performance. You don't have to have a disorder for the benefits. To sell it as a cure is criminal towards the parents of such children. Autism is a taboe because people dop not understand how broad the autistic spectrum is. Actually, autism is not such a bad deal when people listen to the message first instead of how the message is said and feel "hurt".
we have to be sooooo politically correct because we are afraid that one statement that could be interpreted differently may cause you your carreer that it has penetrated privat life. This is exactly one of the weak spots of people with autism. The outside world makes it a big deal especially the ones who feel they can make a lot of money by milking the autism cow. Parents are desperate to find a cure and will spent money to find and it to help their beloved children. They are emotionally not realistic and try anything.
In my perspective, its a new way of crime.
You can train people with autism how to handle situations (some better than others, Aspergers have it more easier), you can get them on a healthier diet and the most important thing of all, you can love them and treat them as regular human beings by showing them the repsect that you would like to receive from others yourself.
I think that there are people like XXXX who do believe they are doing the good thing, he is just not unbiased enough to see the truth behind the whole thing and he does not really understand what autism is, certainly not what it means to be autistic.
XXXX, you are working on a hoax. The responses above are meant to convince you. I know by experience that it does not work like this. You are like the parents, you want to believe it's true. You cannot say acradabra and turn water into wine, you still have to feed the water to the soil so the grapes can grow and make wine from the grapes, there is no short-cut with a magical pill.
I don't see autism as a disorder. Others make it a disorder. because of my autism, I have a talent that surpases many others and even more important, I am needed. My IQ surpases 160 (EU scale) (out of 180 max), that's makes me incredible (just like Alex and Partick and many others). because of people like us, we have computers with micro chips and Iphones, frozen TV dinners etc. The world cannot do without us anymore so stop trying to cure us and accepts us like who we are for what we are.
As a message to parents, don't let the outside world bring you down. Love you child and stimulate him as much as you can. You will see, your child is perfectly happy with who he/she is. Again, it's the outside world who creates the problems.”
Here are the suggestions/tips from the poster as well. Please keep in mind that these are his suggestions. They are wonderful suggestions but every child is different so the suggestions might not be what your child needs. Nevertheless, they are still excellent suggestions:
“How colour full is your living room - colour full pictures, strange shaped sculptures untidy rooms are always in focus of the autistic eye and prevents their brain to settle down for a moment. Its the same with class rooms. Its very distracting
How structured is the day - They want to know what comes. If you visit family or the doctors or go shopping, prepare your child by a do and don't list. repeat this list everytime you do something, like: don't scream, don't run, let people finsh their sentence before interupting and ask questions etc. This means on before hand.... not while you do it (in the car before you step out or in the morning going through the day etc)
Stimulate what they are good at - do sums, they like numbers, don't let them fold origami or colour with pencils, their motoristic skills are not good enough and they get frustrated, the same with their handwriting, they don't have the motoristic skills to have a readable handwriting, let them type but don't let them stop learning how to write. “