Misfits or just Understood

He walks around the school; he looks just like every other tall, blue eyed, blond haired high schooler. But there’s something different about him, you don’t notice it till it happens, if you were to see him anywhere else he would look like a normal boy. All of a sudden a trigger happens, he starts clapping his arms together over and over, one clap, two claps, and three claps, and so on.

All of a sudden he drops to the floor and starts doing push-ups, anything with a sense of repetitiveness, something constant. That is what a person with autism can be like, but none of them are the same, each like a flower or a clover, none of them are the same yet they are all beautiful because they are a human being, not some “retard to avoid” they’re a person so why is it that just because they are different they are treated different? As Americans and people in general we are taught to except those that are different so why is it harder with to except those with disabilities? According to the dictionary diversity means, “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements,” and isn’t that what America is? Now I’m not here to say all that cheesy stuff about how America was created for those who wanted to be and were different, which it was by the way, but more on the lines of why can’t we accept those that are different and those that can help being the way they are?Most people don’t even know how a child gets autism, scientists don’t even fully know why they get autism and how it can stick with them the rest of their lives or how it can go away by the time they’re a teenager or why it affects certain kids and not others. Some people thing vaccines are the cause of autism, it can also be caused by mothers that are pregnant and get Rubella, as well as so many other unknown causes that scientists are still discovering. 1607 Jamestown, Virginia was established in hopes of religious freedom and freedom from persecution. It is 2018 now and here we are still struggling with persecution and judgement on those that are different, the hopes of creating a new colony free of persecution and judgement has failed and we have fallen back to the ways of those we tried to escape.

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Yes this sounds like a history lesson but it is all tied together, the idea of escaping the persecution and judgements of the British has lead us to be so judgmental that we can’t even accept those that can’t change how they are or even prevent it from happening to themselves. Autism is a spectrum disability, it all falls into different levels with the possibility of falling off of the spectrum. Autism is a genetic condition that has a range of different challenges such as social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences that make them different. The definition of a genetic condition is stated as “a disease or condition caused by an absent or defective gene or by a chromosomal aberration” and does that sound like something that a person could prevent? Now if that child had been given autism because the mother got sick with Rubella when she was pregnant that could have been prevented by the mother being vaccinated but other than that there isn’t much that an innocent child could have done to prevent this from happening to them. Between the ages of 12 to 18 months autism shows up, at this age a child isn’t even able to fully think, they know “yes and no” and they know when mommy says “Timmy what are you doing” they know they need to stop what they are doing because mommy is getting mad, but they don’t know what a mean and nasty world they live in, they don’t know that when they get autism they are going to be judged, rejected, stared at, and confused as to why people don’t talk to him and why people make fun of him.

Little Timmy doesn’t know what has just happened to him, and he doesn’t know how firsthand he is going to experience this mean and nasty world. “None of this would have happened if you had just skipped that vaccine,” and, “Autism is just an excuse for bad behavior.” These are things that Psychologist John Elder Robinson has found that people say about those with autism. Why is it that these people blame the parents? Parents aren’t always the cause of it, their genes are, those things in their body that they have no control over what they do or what traits they give to their child, yeah those things. Believe it or not they can’t control what genes their child gets. It is almost like winning the lottery because in a sense you have, but you have also lost, because your beautiful and amazing child that you carried in your body that you loved and nurtured for nine months is now going to be judged, rejected, and possibly even bullied since you won the lottery.

But you also won the lottery, your child is different, they are beautiful and amazing and innocent, and they are all yours. Jim Sinclair the author of the article, “Don’t Mourn for Us” talks about accepting those with autism rather than trying to change them and trying all these things to change them and to cure them why not just accept them? But they also didn’t choose this so maybe they would want to be cured. Maybe they would get mad knowing that they could have been cured and they could have been “normal,” whatever that is. “What do I do?” “Is there a cure?” “What does this mean?” These are all things that parents first ask when their child is diagnosed with autism. Society has been so cultured into thinking that you need to be different just not that different, and you need to be outside the box but not super outside the box, and you need to be skinny but not too skinny, and so on.

Society is a walking controversy, “be different” is what people say and then they criticize you when you are too different, what are we supposed to do? We can’t be different and not get criticized or judged but we can’t fit in without being criticized for not being our own person so which one is it? It is neither. We are our own person and we need to be diverse and be out there and not have to worry about being judged but that’s hard I know, so why not start with being you and embracing yourself and who you are as a person? “Is there a cure for autism?” the answer is no. No there is not a cure yet, could there be one in the future? The answer is possibly. At the moment they have found possible cures but nothing that is official and nothing that works for sure or even would work on humans. The possible cure right now is being tested in mice.

A 2016 study showed that by blocking a specific protein they are able to prevent certain symptoms from developing. By shutting down the IL-17a gene they are able to stop the symptoms of autism from developing. Now would that actually work in a baby is the question. The protein could prove to be beneficial in restoring normal brain function in infants in the womb. Most of the other “cures” that people have out there just involve immersing their child in society, and some even feed them specific foods just something so that their child doesn’t have to be different and so their child doesn’t have to deal with this their whole life. But the idea that the child has to suffer with this their whole life is not true anymore.

The idea of a cure is what is motivating scientists to find a cure because the unknown scares them so they are motivated to find as much out as they can. The most common “cure” for autism is therapy, behavioral and communication therapy. If your child gets put into therapy at a young age or when symptoms start developing they are basically able to grow out of it. Even though it leaves them with lasting “side effects,” if you will and these side effects include; behavioral problems, trouble communicating and fitting in with peers. Everyone out there just immediately assumes we need a cure for it so they are “normal” but why? They would each have their own quirks that make them different and unique.

Back to accepting those that are different and those that are diverse the TV show director if the show “The Good Doctor” a doctor with autism, speaks out about accepting those that are different. “The Good Doctor may not be based on a true story but it definitely takes a magnifying glass to the realities of life on the autism spectrum. By all accounts, the series and its showrunners dedicated time to get Shaun and his diagnosis right and treat it with respect. And, that’s the most important thing of all.” This TV show is not based on a true story but it has real life elements in it and it has things that those with autism struggle with and how they are treated and judged in the real world. Throughout the show it shows all that he struggles with when all he wants is to make people feel better.

Academically the doctor is smart, he has no problems with that but his problems revolve around communication and using those silent cues from others, he is a lot blunter than the other doctors because he doesn’t know any better and his brain doesn’t see it as a problem he needs to fix. Throughout a person who has autism’s life they always have the possibility to fall off of the spectrum but they still struggle with communication and social challenges. All of this challenges they can overcome by being treated like a normal person and by actually being around people and in the world rather than just being there occasionally and occasionally being around groups of people, all of this they can overcome if people would treat them like a person and not just some outsider. So back to my question, is autism curable? The simple answer is no it isn’t curable right now, could it be cured in the future, yes it possibly could. But why cure something that just makes a person slightly different? Sure they have trouble communicating and they might have trouble being out and around people but isn’t that okay? Everyone out there has their own quirks and things that make them awkward and different and stand out in the crowd.

Why should they be treated any different? Think of all the introverts out there that have to be sociable and out around people all the time or those that have stage fright being put on stage? Every single person out there has something that sets them apart and yet we accept it and treat them normally. There is a lack of exposure to those with disabilities because parents are so scared of them being around other kids and getting made fun of that they put them in separate schools, short buses, anything to avoid being with all the other kids because they are scared. They hide them away so they don’t have to deal with the persecution that this country was founded because of. We were founded because we were trying to escape the persecution yet we just moved to a different country and brought it with us just in a different form, a different way of persecution. The times have changed, technology has advanced, cars have gotten faster, medicine has gotten more advances and yet people remain the same. We persecute those that are different and that we don’t understand just so we don’t have to understand them, just so we don’t have to accept them and treat them like a regular person even though that is exactly what they are just instead their body has a simple genetic difference making them special.

Autism isn’t deadly. It isn’t contagious. You can’t catch autism from a parasite or from another person with autism. So why are we treating disabilities and differences like contagious diseases that we can prevent? Because we can’t prevent autism, but it isn’t contagious, Timmy didn’t get autism by hanging around mushrooms in the yard or by hanging out with the neighbor kids from South Sudan; Timmy got autism because his parents gave him the genes for autism. So no, there is no cure for autism and there might never be a foolproof cure.

But why do we continue to treat them like that? Parents now are conditioned into thinking that if your child is different or if your child isn’t normal that they need to be hid away and you need to spend as much money as you can to make them normal and to make it so that they aren’t different. So no, there isn’t a cure for autism and there may never be a cure that works for everyone because people are different, everyone is made up of different genes and different qualities and traits but everyone should be treated equally.”Treat others as you would like to be treated” is what most every child was taught, all the way through elementary school and middle-school. Then it stops. Like a light being turned off, the kindness stops, the judgement comes in and it stays.

Kids committing suicide because of the bullying, because they are different they don’t even want to live anymore. Kids being told they aren’t pretty enough because they aren’t skinny, or they’re too skinny, there is always something wrong and someone is always never good enough. So why even judge anymore? Jumping from autism to the second leading cause of death of kids and adults between the ages of 15 through 34, it is all connected. Every person is different. They all have traits and qualities that make them different and unique and why must they be treated different just because they have autism, or Asperger’s, or they have brown skin instead of ivory white,or simply the fact that they don’t wear expensive clothes; all these things contribute to making our society different and what do we do? We tell them that their parents need to find a cure for them and that they need to spend all their money at the gym to be 105 pounds and that since they can’t do anything about their skin color they should just kill themselves.

We live in a broken society with broken people that have broken minds and broken hearts. Do we just want to give them a bandaid and tell them that if they can’t pull themselves together they need to kill themselves? That since they can’t lose the weight they need to not eat, they need to slim themselves down till they’re a sack of skin and bones. And we need to send those with disabilities to therapy and hide them away till they are “normal” and prescribe them every pill that could possibly do something till it goes away and instead of letting little Timmy go be different at the park, his parents hide him away and show him cards with pictures of kids playing, and then when little Timmy is old enough to go out in the world he’s rejected, abandoned and made fun of because he was hid away in a house instead of being introduced into our broken society to make it a little better. Because maybe if little Timmy was at the park he would have met Rebecca, who was all alone on the swing-set because she had Tourette’s and no one wanted to be around a little girl who has voice spasms. So now Rebecca is out in society, making our world just a little more diverse because her parents wanted her to have a life and to be accepted as a person and not just some science experiment to try all these different types of medicine on to see which one stops her voice spasms. They wanted her to experience life and to experience our broken society.

And little Timmy is still hidden away in a doctor’s office right now with an IV in his arm giving him God knows what and having some blue substance injected into his hip right now instead of showing this broken world what innocence and difference looks like. Timmy’s parents aren’t trying to hide him away or deprive him of life, they want what they think is best for him and that’s what makes society so broken because they were conditioned to think that their son can’t be different. He has to be the same as every other boy, play the same sports, get good grades, meet a girl, and start the cycle of life over again hoping that his child didn’t turn out like he did so that he doesn’t have to put him through what he went through because Timmy knows that his parents just wanted the best for him. A broken world, filled with broken hearts and broken minds, and what do we do? We try to fix these broken people by teaching them they need to fix themselves or they need to just die. Embrace diversity, embrace what our country was founded on, and embrace each other.

We are all humans living in this broken world, but it’s a beautiful world filled with beautiful people that are all just looking for somewhere to fit in, so instead of trying to cure autism we should learn to accept it because God knows that it’s never going to stop being in people’s genes, it is going to continue to show up in person after person and it isn’t going to stop, so stop wasting money trying to fix someone who doesn’t need to be fixed, they just need to be accepted, not changed or hidden away.