In Theory…

This is going to sound a little confusing and I will get technical for this. I apologize in advance but at least try to bear with me here. I had a discussion about vaccines and Autism with a coworker of mine earlier today. Now I am not going to play Devil’s Advocate and side with the anti-vaccers, don’t worry. No, today I want to discuss a theoretical situation.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the medical community found a feasible gene or “cause” for Autism. Ok here’s where it gets medically technical and confusing. You know how when you get a shot or vaccine they inject you with cells of the virus or ailment they are trying to get rid of? Example: every time I get a Flu shot—without fail—I get sick as a side effect. Look at the side effects people are having now with the Covid 19 vaccines. My sister got the Covid vaccine through her work (she is a nurse) in Philadelphia. After the first vaccine, she was fine. The second shot though? For a few hours after the shot, my sister had fever, sweat, and chills. You may be asking, “Ok. That’s all well and good but what does this have to do with Autism?” Well…take those same circumstances or principles and apply it to a vaccine for Autism.

Would the side effects equate to, or be worse than, symptoms of Autism? Would you be more or less likely to get this imaginary vaccine if you knew you’d get the same or worse effects? Even temporarily? I was talking to my girlfriend Allie about this. She said she wouldn’t want the vaccine because she “is happy with who she is”. I agree, but Allie, think of it from other peoples’ perspectives. Take my boss at work for instance. Her son and my colleague at work is low-verbal, lower-functioning Autistic. I told my boss a few years ago I hope they never find a cure for Autism because I do not want it. My boss said, “I know where you are coming from, but from a parent’s perspective, if they had a treatment that would help my son communicate and alleviate some symptoms, I’d be willing to try it.”

That perspective kind of shut me up and shot me down. But my boss didn’t tell me I was wrong. She was giving me advice; something to think about. So if a vaccine or anything could alleviate any form or sign of Autism, it may be beneficial for some. However not everyone. So that is why this vaccine scenario is so controversial. A lot of people on the Spectrum are probably shunning me and saying “F you!” At this point. The “normal” or neurotypical society, again probably lots of them, are thinking and going “He has a point.” It’s so divisive that people are so black-and-white about it. To the Autism Community, depending on who you talk to, is vehemently against this concept. The rest of society are more for it. That’s what sucks. There is ZERO “middle ground” or “gray area”. It’s either one side or the other.

But it doesn’t have to be. You can see both sides of the argument. In fact, I urge you to at least try to see the other side of the argument or why you think those other people are “wrong”. I love this! You can still think you are right, but at least understanding and accepting yours isn’t the only opinion out there, is to me, intriguing and comforting. I do not agree with a lot of stuff people say, but I hear them out…then tell them they are wrong. But it’s more than “You’re wrong. Period.” Way more! To me it’s “I think you are wrong/I disagree and here’s why.”

I will give you a personal example. I have a hard time accepting the word “No”. If someone tells me “no” or that I can’t do something, I want an answer or explanation as to why. I still want to do it, but I see another perspective as to why I can’t do it. Before I go, I suggest you look up Jessica McCabe. She has a YouTube channel and entire website dedicated to ADHD. I attached a link to her website below. Just give it a look over. She also did a GREAT TedTalk which I have also attached. Everything she says, to me, makes perfect sense.

But again, varying opinions. I suggest you look these over and come up with your own conclusions. Thanks for reading!

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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