Two big questions bring parents to the internet for answers. One is “What is Autism?” and the other is “Can Autism be Cured?”
Autism is a developmental disability that comes from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It is characterized by the abnormal development of communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. Males are affected four times as often as females. Children may appear normal until around the age of 30 months. AutismPDD
Answering the Question What is Autism
Autism is a spectrum disorder. Individuals diagnosed with Autism range from high functioning to low functioning. My son is considered low functioning. I am constantly being asked “What is Autism” and I find myself giving different answers each time. It’s hard to sum Autism up in one or two sentences. It’s also hard to put it in terms people unfamiliar with autism will understand. It’s especially difficult when a child asks me “What is Autism.”
When I answer a child, I try to put it in terms he/she will understand. I’ll say things like, “It means that his brain processes things differently.” I’ve never been happy with that answer, but it’s so hard for me to explain what is Autism to a child. I have no problem answering an adult. I can explain how it’s a spectrum disorder, that it affects 1 in 88 children, that my son is on the sever end of the spectrum (low functioning), and he is nonverbal. I can explain about his OCD and sensory issues. An adult will understand these terms. A child? Not so much.
Can Autism be Cured?
Sorry, the answer is no. Can it be Cured? tends to be a volatile question. Can it be treated? Yes. Can a child “recover” from Autism? That’s the million dollar question. There are those that say “yes.” I ask you this, if a truly autistic child can be cured, or can “recover”, why can’t all? Is it just possible that the children that have recovered only had the symptoms of Autism? If a child has a poor immune system, food allergies, etc…, don’t you think that it is possible that the child in question would display autism behaviors? That it would affect him in a way that he/she would appear to be autistic? I ask you this, because I am tired of people asking why I haven’t cured my son. Why I’m not doing what XYZ celebrity parent did to cure their child? I’ve done the supplements, and I’ve done the diets. The supplements helped his immune system. The diets didn’t do much of anything. My son did not recover, because he is the true definition of Autism.
Can Autism be Treated?
Absolutely, YES! Although my son will always be autistic, he can learn to live with Autism. What do I mean by that? Autism doesn’t have to control everything he does, or doesn’t do. There are things that it prevents him from doing, like talking, but that doesn’t mean he can’t communicate. It prevents him from displaying emotions the way I would, or you would, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his own way of displaying them. He has learned how to express himself in a way that I understand. There are so many things that he has overcome, adapted to, and conquered. Autism can be treated with different therapies, changes in diet, and supplements. Although I believe that they will not cure an autistic child, they can all help.
You can argue with me. Tell me I’m wrong, that Autism can be cured. You won’t change my mind. I would love to hear about how you answer the question What is Autism? to children. I’ve been doing it for 13 years, and I still haven’t found a good answer. As for Can Autism be cured? I tell people no.