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This has been quite the topic of conversation among fellow Autism parents as of late. I for one can't stop thinking about it. 4 am this morning, was I sleeping? NOOOOO. I was writing this post in my head because I can't get it off my mind.
Most of us know who Jenny McCarthy is and how she CLAIMS she "cured" her son. I refuse to give her any more attention so this post will NOT revolve around her and her sensationalist claims. (My thought, she is a drama queen, Evan may very well have been misdiagnosed, (it is claimed he instead has Landau-Kleffner syndrome)). So that's all I am going to say about her.....
I digress. My real issue is the false hope that media is blowing up desperate parent's arses. My son had mild autism. I do hope that someday he can over come some of his challenges, so he doesn't feel so isolated from his peers, but a CURE??? Autism is a NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER, there is NO KNOWN CURE. I am a straight shooter. I tell it like it is. I don't sugar coat. I won't tell you something just to make you feel better. I expect the truth from everyone in my life, and you can expect the same from me....again, there I go on a tangent. Back to the issue....
Yet, articles keep coming out about kids being "cured" or "outgrowing" their autism. Click here and here for more on that. Now, I read every one of these articles. I want to be informed. I want to be able to help my readers and followers to the best of my ability. I do however think the media needs to think more before putting this kind of info out there. There are parents of severely autistic children that hope and pray for a cure. Hope and pray for a better life for their child. I don't feel it's fair to prey on these parents.
"Can my child 'outgrow' Autism?" you ask.....according to these studies, yes. It should be noted however that your child isn't OUTGROWING autism, but merely ADAPTING. These children that are claimed to be outgrowing autism, were either misdiagnosed, OR, they are growing UP. They are learning to adapt to their world. They are learning what sets them off, and learning ways around that. They are learning social skills to better interact with their peers. So you see, they aren't outgrowing their Autism. They aren't leaving their neurological disorder behind. They are merely growing up. With the help of their families, and therapists, and hard work themselves, they are learning to better navigate the world around them. They STILL have Autism. They weren't miraculously cured. If you spoke to these families that were used in these studies, I bet you will hear about all the hard work and therapy that was involved. You may even hear about homeopathic therapies. (Yes, I do believe they work. NOT all of them, but some. NOT for everyone, but for some. I myself had Liam on the GFCF diet for a year. I DID notice a difference. However, we can't afford that diet, so all I can do is limit his gluten and casein.)
So you see, there is NO "cure." PLEASE don't let media trick you into believing something that can't be true. Talk to your child's doctor. Talk to his/her therapists. Work with your child. They may not "outgrow" their autism, but they can learn to adapt to the challenges it brings. Is that enough? For some yes, but for others, maybe not.
This graphic from Our Autism Family (https://www.facebook.com/OurAutismFamily ) sums up how I feel!