I think people should be more educated about Autism. This is what I would like to convey to the General Population about Autism. It is not a “sickness” or “illness”. It cannot be “cured” with medications. Nor do people with Autism need a cure. We need understanding. Autism is not “black and white”. There is no “one-size-fits-all”. There are a wide variety of ways Autism can impact individuals. Just because a person who is “lower functioning”, meaning they cannot adequately communicate, does not mean they are “dumb” or “retarded”. The Autistic community gets so much shit it’s sickening. There are a lot of stigmas and stereotypes surrounding Autism. Sure, some are more flattering than others, but they still do more harm than good. The closest thing I have seen to “truth in advertising” for Autism, believe it or not, is SESAME STREET. There is a Muppet on Sesame Street with Autism named Julia. Julia is basically all the stereotypes you have ever heard about Autism (i.e.: noise sensitivities, cannot adequately communicate, arm flapping, etc.) all rolled into one. I think it is bullshit to think that people with Autism will never be able to do any number of things, like holding a steady job or date. I have been in a relationship for 7 years and have 2 jobs. Some of us may not be able to pick up on social cues or social “norms” but what is “Normal” anyway? Normality is a personal opinion. How I act is my “Normal”; how my girlfriend acts is her “normal”; how my dad acts, crazy as I think he is, is his “Normal”; my mom’s behavior is her “Normal” and so on.
I think there are a number of theories about “curing” or “helping” people with Autism. They include living in group homes, group therapy, drugs (medications, marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, etc.) and…I am not kidding when I say this…bleach enemas. The latter has actually been tried and the kid wound up dying in agony.
When it comes to Autism, do us all a favor. Do your homework. Know what you are talking about…even if it is very limited information. Do not pretend to know all there is to know about Autism. You’ll just look like an idiot.