To be or not to be

March 12, 2008 at 9:10 am 2 comments

     There is much debate over whether or not to “treat” kids with autism in the hopes that they get better. Some believe autism is an irreversible brain condition and we should all accept these children for who they are and not try to change them. There are others who will go to the ends of the earth to try every remedy out there (and there are many), searching for the holy grail that will “fix” their “damaged” child.

     We fall somewhere in between. We adore C just the way he is, and if his issues stayed the way they are we’d continue to feel blessed. We don’t think there’s one thing wrong with who he is. Yet we also firmly believe autism is a medical diagnosis that in some cases can be treated if the proper treatment can be found. C has real medical issues that contribute to his symptoms of autism. We are still working to get to the bottom of some of them, and while we know he will probably never be considered “recovered,” we can absolutely help him feel better. We don’t care if he recovers from autism, but we do care if his tummy hurts, his joints hurt, and if he just doesn’t feel well.

    I understand the position that we need to accept these children for who they are, but does that preclude us trying to make them feel better? Must the ideas that we can love our kids and that we can also help them feel better be mutually exclusive?


Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , .

C-isms I’d like to extend my warranty, please

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lookingforlifeshumor  |  March 13, 2008 at 7:57 am

    I’ve struggled with this question too – and have talked with our Pastor several times about it. Where I’ve come out on this is – God created my son with Autism. It is my job, for him and for my other children, to protect, provide, and to help him become a positively contributing member of society. If that is as a self-sufficient member of society, even better! So, we work on the social skills, the math, the reading… but are we trying to make him perfect? normal (what is that?)? different? I don’t think he will be “cured” but we do strive to reduce his frustration and help him get the skills that will enable him to cope and thrive as an adult. It is tough, but if we make decisions with this strategy in mind, I think we’re doing the right thing. Hang in there! Peace!

    It goes back to my very first post, and I do think there’s a reason we have this child and he has us. I remember when we first started the DAN! route, we asked the doc if it was going to change who C is, because I love who he is. We just want him healthy, whatever that happens to look like. Happy and healthy is what I want for my child.

  • 2. themarquis0  |  March 14, 2008 at 4:37 am

    It’s such a tough call. And there are no simple answers. You want him to be happy. You want him to live a good life — both now, and as he enters adulthood. But what does it mean to be happy, and what does it mean to live a good life? And might his idea of being happy, of living a good life, be different than what it is for other people? Or what it is for you?

    I think it’s the fact that you’re thinking hard about all these questions, and refusing to see the situation as black and white (either “let him be” or “cure him”) that makes you such wonderful and responsive parents to your little guy. I look forward to hearing more about you and C as he grows and develops into a unique little person!

    You are spot on. It is a tough balance. As long as it continues to be fun and productive, we will do therapies. As long as we are seeing results, we will continue to try and make his body healthy. And we try to take some cues from him – he wants to have friends, so we try to give him the skills to do so. When he showed an interest in coins and money, we bought him a piggy bank. But there’s so MUCH to do, sometimes it’s hard to prioritize. Music therapy or playgroup? Frankly, I kind of like the days where we don’t have anything and can just go hang at the park. 😉

    Thanks for coming by.


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