Autism is an “ISM” like racism and sexism.
When you see an “ISM,” you know that a group of people is going to be marginalized and that the persons in the group will be treated in a way that does not respect their value.
Nobody celebrates sexism. Nobody celebrates racism. Why should we celebrate autism, where children and adults are suffering, vulnerable, and are left begging for equal services and respect?
How are children with autism denied equal services and respect?
Here is an example:
Walk into a mainstream doctor’s office with a child with autism who has alternating diarrhea and painful, chronic constipation. Often, pain from GI distress like constipation and reflux may cause a person with autism to slap their own face, bite their own hand, or lash out at others – especially if the person is non-verbal and otherwise unable to express themselves.
But the mainstream doctor might just say about the painful constipation, “That’s just part of autism.” Really? If an average citizen walked into the doctor’s office with the same issues, that citizen would be offered a work-up to investigate the pathophysiology and remedy the pain.
Worse, the mainstream doctor might try the harmful and ineffective “band-aid” of psychotropic drugs, or they might restrain your child for the pain-induced behaviors, or they might say the parent has Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
When autism is relegated to the mainstream genetic, psychiatric, hard-wired broom closet, carte blanche is given to government, medicine, and education to ignore looking deeper. Or looking for root causes for the epidemic. Root causes caused by industry. Industry that has lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Industry that influences universities and other institutions. Industry that influences media.
Then the universities discourage researchers for looking into root causes.
Then mainstream medical journals don’t receive articles about root causes.
Then mainstream medical journals won’t accept controversial articles about root causes via peer-review.
Then television won’t let the public know the truth because their advertising revenue comes from industry.
And so it goes.
When the mainstream media perpetuates this misinformation, then relatives and other members of the public can become judgmental of parents who are trying to help their children with effective biomedical treatments based upon biologically plausible etiologies and sound science.
What else happens?
The economy buckles under the burden of so many children with autism in the education system. Social services, including medicine, buckle under the extra costs.
Professionals are discouraged from diagnosing autism earlier when it can be best helped because early diagnosis means government agencies would have to spend money earlier on a child. Children are left to flounder. Families are left to struggle.
Insurance companies won’t cover treatments, goods, and services because substantiation for those has been blocked from being accepted.
We should, however, celebrate the person with autism. To celebrate the person with autism, we must respect and acknowledge their legitimate physiological issues, responsibly and compassionately work to help them heal from the functional deficits and pain associated with the pathophysiology, and restore their body and cognitive abilities to a healthy state.
All the while, we do accept the person with the label of autism.
Just like we accept people of any gender. Just like we accept people of any race. But we would help a person of any gender if they had diabetes. And we would help a person of any race if they had cancer. Likewise, a person labeled with autism is a person first, and we should help them with their medical conditions, including where such medical conditions adversely impact other aspects of life such as progress in education, social interactions, and personal comfort and happiness.
The most important thing to be aware of during Autism Awareness Month…
is that children can and do recover from the autism diagnostic label. Acknowledging their legitimate, underlying physiological conditions and working with experienced medical oversight to restore the health of the body, which leads to the health of the brain, shows respect for the value of the person.