Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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Understanding autism

1.2 Contrasting views on acceptance

More able autistic individuals may be more likely to oppose the idea that the differences which make them who they are, need to be removed. And some may even reject the need for any form of help to address their challenges. Parents of more severely affected children, who face profound challenges and difficulties for themselves and their family, are more likely to seek help, and perhaps even to pursue recovery. However, this differentiation is not always correct. The journalist Charlotte Moore, who has two children with a severe form of autism, wrote:

I hope I was never looking for a cure; now, I’m sure I’m not. I want Sam to stop scattering his food and biting his hands, but I don’t dream of a neurotypical Sam with the usual emotional and intellectual range of a boy of 11, because no such Sam could possibly exist.

(Moore, 2003)

Charlotte prefers to accept her sons’ autism as a different way of being, while acknowledging that there are challenges which it would be desirable to overcome.

Arabella, mother of Iris Grace, expresses her views in this clip.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_aut_1_video_week5_1_arabella.mp4
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I don't like the word cure. I think it promotes this idea that it's something that being on the autistic spectrum is something undesirable and something that we need to fix. I don't think it's a problem that needs to be fixed.
I think it's something that we need to help them fit into our world, that's for sure. I mean, they need to learn skills so that they can function in our society. We need to make it so that they can go to the supermarket if they want to. And that may take many months of helping them, even if it means setting up a little mini supermarket in your sitting room and practicing as much as you like.
You know, there are certain things in life you can't get away with not doing. You know, if he wants to take public transport, that needs to be sort of dealt with. There's so many parts of life which you're never going to be able to change.
You couldn't make a whole city become autistic friendly. I know they're trying in certain cities. But you know, it's pretty unrealistic. But what I would like to see is autism being embraced and people seeing the positives and seeing the potential.
End transcript
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