Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why I Find No Joy In Autism - Biting and Other Self Injurious Behavior

Above are two pictures taken a short while ago. Conor came home from a great day at school. He sat at a computer as he often does to view some of his favorite sites which he has bookmarked. For some reason, slow loading pages perhaps, I am not sure, Conor became very frustrated with the computer, suffered a meltdown and began biting his hand.

There are those who argue we should find joy in autism, we should view our child's autism as part of who he is and not try to cure him of his autism or change his true autistic nature. To me such reasoning is absurd. Not just wrong but absurd. Self injurious behavior, such as the biting shown above is one major reason why I feel that the joy of autism philosophy is perverse nonsense.

My son is beautiful, in Conor I find great joy, but not in his autism, not in his self injurious behavior.


Beau McClelland said...

Mr. Doherty,

I referenced this entry in one of my own. You can read it here:, if you wish.

Despite differences in opinions, I do think you are a good father.

Jill said...

I agree with you 100 percent. I find no joy in autism either. I love both of my boys and I would give anything to cure them of their autism.

Beau McClelland said...

Mr. Doherty,

Thanks for commenting on my entry. Yes, it is disagreement, but it is also respectful.


It is possible to find joy in autism, despite the struggles we face each day.

concerned heart said...

Mr. Doherty,

I agree with you and believe Connor is lucky to have a compassionate father who intimately understands his pain and disabilities. There is no joy in autism in my opinion, although the autistic person may have moments of joy. I will keep working to educate men to end their fathering of babies by their early 30s, even though few will listen.

Anonymous said...

Good for you. I never understood that reasoning either. It's so painful to watch their uncontrollable self-injurious behavior. It always breaks my heart to watch and then to see all the scars. How is that something to celebrate? These beautiful children never deserved to live in such pain ... emotional or physical.