These simple points seem to escape those who perversely find joy in the fact that a child has an autism disorder. Equally irrational is the notion that society need not find a cure, or cures, for the various autism spectrum disorders. Autism, at least in its most severe manifestations, directly harms a person with autism when he or she engages in Self Injurious Behavior. Autism has also taken the lives of those who wander away from home or place of care as appears so often in the news. Some of us have been very fortunate when our autistic children are returned to us safely. It is impossible for me as the father of a severely autistic 15 year old son to respect the opinions of those who argue against curing autism disorders. That perspective, as I see it, is irrational at best and perverse at worst.
At Autism, Epilepsy and Self-Injurious Behavior Kim Oakley is a blogger who has previously posted a number of honest, informative Youtube videos showing her son's Self Injurious Behavior. In the latest comment on her blog Autistic behaviors, Antipsychotics and Angioedema: Warning she again addresses issues arising from SIB with an emphasis in this article on some medication side effects. Her son's SIB is described:
"Late June, 2011. My severely-autistic, non-verbal son had been smashing self in face and head for 3 days, despite numerous interventions to stop brutal self-injury. Protective gear was in place (karate helmet, Posey Mitts). Temporary restraints were ineffective (during this particular episode, he was so strong, broke out of restraints)."
In Access to health Casdok of Mother of Shrek has also written recently on her son's SIB:
"Drowning in a tidal wave. Rapidly repeatedly smashing his head hard onto a solid object trying to cause more pain to block out the pain he is already in - giving himself something to cling onto – to find his way back. This is what it looks like to me. A tidal wave of pain from what though – I don’t know. C needs investigations to rule out health issues.
His desperate eyes boring into your heart silently screaming for you to help him. But you can’t always.
I wrote about this back in Feb. The words ‘critical ‘crisis’ ‘life threatening’ have all been used and yet C has only yesterday got to see the right Consultant who would prescribe meds and a referral to see a Neurologist. Meds might take yet another week – ‘as we are busy’."
Casdok, as I understand her writings, does not believe that autism should be cured. She is obviously a caring and dedicated mother but I can not pretend to understand how she can fight so hard to help her son deal with serious self injurious behavior on one hand, including seeking medical treatment, and still oppose curing autism.
Self injurious behavior and other serious challenges presented by autism are exactly what motivate the many parents of autistic children who do seek cures for their children. I wish Cadok and her son well. I hope they do get the medical assessment her son needs.
For the sake of my own son, and others who are severely affected by autism disorders, I hope that the new trend in research toward understanding all of the possible causes of autism, and the decline of the autism is primarily genetic myth, will also lead to more effective treatments and some day a cure for autism.