This isn't along the lines of accepting that your child is a girl rather than a boy (or vice versa) or learning to deal with the fact that he'll be very tall. Autism is a no-fun thing, guys. Sure, there can be advantages to the affected person such as being able to tune out a lot of social stimuli when working on a problem. There is no cloud without a silver lining. But I, for one, would prefer the cloud not be there.
The debate over "cure" or "acceptance," I think, is really a matter of semantics. No matter how hard we try, we never really have achieved either. In our heart of hearts, we know our autistic child will always be different and we also know we will never fully accept autism in the same manner in which we would accept a child's "boyness" or "girlness."
Kristina Chew, in her Autism Vox blog, writes this about the acceptance/cure debate:
Perhaps, over time, a parent learns to perform a kind of dance between encouraging a child to learn and knowing when to let a child be as he or she is? Perhaps, whatever gets said about “cure” and “recovery,” at some point you think, difference is difference. I’d rather Charlie not screech in public, but I am glad that he’s got that desire and drive to express himself.
She writes that she had gotten to this point after intensive ABA therapy with Charlie to the tune of *40 hours a week.* Have to interject a twinge of jealous feeling here. She has one child and can intensively pour everything into him. She KNOWS she's done everything possible and this is the way it is. Is "acceptance" easier then? I wonder. Then again, her child has far fewer "opportunities to work out conflict" with siblings LOL! Only think what he's missing. ;]
Yes, this was yet another "acceptance verus cure" post all about autism. It's my blog. Maybe I'll post about it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day...