Debate on acceptance/treatment

Discuss autism theories, media stories, and efforts to put ASD on the government agenda here.

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srinath
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Re: Yes ... you nailed it.

Postby srinath » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:07 am

Kev wrote:
srinath wrote:In effect what the acceptance group is saying is ... the kid is under 18 and is my dependent, so i dont have to give them the choice to answer that question at all. My kid, my choice. If the kid cant say what he/she wants, too bad, I'll do as I please. Not me. I prefer to give him the choice as well as equip him to understand/decide and answer it.


Seeing as that's the direct opposite of what I actually said, and I don't assume to speak for anyone except myself I'm going to assume you're simply trolling.

Shh....adults are talking.


That's exactly what you said kev. That the vast majority of autistic adults dont want to be cured.
So you have heard that and imposed that on your daughter. While it may be true that she may not want to be non autistic, or that her symptoms are mild enough that she doesn't need to be treated ... whatever. She may not have understood the implications or even been able to respond. My son doesn't have GI issues for the most part, but I can assure you when we did our GFCF diet he was in abject misery. He wanted cookies and bread and cheese and yogurt and no substitutes were going to do it. To me that is a plain signal that they dont want diet restrictions.
You and I and few others here are some of the lucky ones that have kids that dont have GI issues. The rest of the kids, dont want to be denied cookies and pizza and chocolate. To those kids ... acceptance is just plain abuse and they aren't vocal enough to tell you they want it so you enforce your will. If a child understood enough and could talk they'd want cookies and chocolate and pizza ... autistic or not.
So no I am not trolling. Your acceptance is barely above abuse. The kid has no idea what she's missing or what she has. The kid needs to know both to make an informed descision. Before denying the kid pizza saying its his choice not to eat pizza, you'd need to feed the kid pizza. And its not a specific example for your daughter and pizza is a metaphor. These Kids dont know what it is to be non autistic. So they aren't making an informed choice. I and other parents here are trying to actually give them the possibility of making an informed choice.
Cool.
Srinath.

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:34 am

Kev,

I'm glad to see you back here. You've done a much better job of clarifying the "acceptance stance" than I ever could. You said,

I think its in the intent. There are people who have declared war on autism. It always strikes me as ridiculous and demeaning to hear such things. Then there are people who want to help their kids be well. The two things are different.



and this is the point I was trying to get across in some of my earlier posts. Acknowledging your child for the unique person that they are and trying to help them to learn and grow in the same way you would do for any child is not the same thing as trying to change the core of their being. I've mentioned this before, but I do think it is somewhat relevant to the issue at hand, so I'm sorry if some of you have to suffer through this again. I was an extremely shy child, to the point where I could not talk to adults comfortably, other than my own mother,for many years. Eye contact was (and still is in some cases) very painful for me. If my parents had insisted that I consistently make and maintain eye contact before I was emotionally ready, I think that I would have been initially very upset and later very resentful. Likewise, if they had enrolled me in therapy designed to change me into an extrovert, I don't think we would still be on speaking terms.

Being an introvert is one of the most defining aspects of my personality, and I realize that my life might have been infinitely easier if I had no social anxiety and if I actually enjoyed surrounding myself with friends, but I would have been a fundamentally different person than I am now. Now, ultimately, I learned coping skills, which essentially means I got really good at pretending to be comfortable and to enjoy myself in social situations. I still avoid them whenever I can, but I can handle them when I must. I think that a lot of adult autistics feel the same way. They know they have problems, but despite all of that, they like the people that they've become and they cannot separate their autism from the whole of their being. Telling an autistic person that you want to cure autism is akin to telling me that you want to cure introversion (is that even a word?). I would be highly offended and would probably go on the attack. Now, ask an autistic person if they want any help learning how to cope with some of the more problematic aspects of their condition, and many might even take you up on it. I realize that to a lot of people out there, it's an just an issue of semantics, but to a person with autism (or any other difference) "coping" and "curing" are two entirely different things.
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic

Mary
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Acceptance and Diversity

Postby Mary » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:33 pm

Now ask him if he liked it back then or does he like it now ...
I hope to do the same in a bit when my son gets to the point where he can understand that question and answer it.


My son is still young so he doesn't articulate his feelings the way an adult with autism would, but he does say things like, "Remember when I couldn't talk and you kept making me wear the bad jacket and I hated the bad jacket and I screamed." I say, "I'm so sorry. I didn't know that's why you were upset."

What will he or a NT child say about me when they're an adult? All adults complain about their parents, at least it seems to be a national past-time around here.

I hope my son will say I loved him more than anything. He probably will say I wasn't a perfect parent. Will he criticize me like some adults with autism have criticized their parents? Maybe, criticism of one's parents is not so unusual. If he can create a website and enumerate his criticisms of my parenting choices and style, I will be proud, proud that he has a strong voice and sense of self that is unique. I will be proud that he is who he is, that he has his own opinions, and feels empowered to express them. I will be proud of his uniqueness, a uniqueness that includes autism but is vastly larger than that.

Sometimes as a means of shorthand people use the term autistic or autist . I don't like those terms because they may suggest that autism defines an individual. My son was born an individual, autism is just a piece of it, just like his hair color and love of soccer. He has autism, he isn't autism.

When I read statements such as "adults with autism say such and such," as though they speak for all people with autism, I cringe a bit. Yes, these people, who have names and have autism, say this or that. They speak for themselves, but do they really speak for ALL people with autism? People with autism are unique individuals whose feelings, ideas and concerns are as varied as anyone else's. Look at this board. It's full of parents who are right now speaking for/about their children, and we all say something different. There isn't one voice here, other than my own, that speaks for me. The same goes with people with autism. One day all of our children will be grown and have their own say. Some may speak, some may use facilitated communication, some may use other means of communicating their ideas. But they all will have something to say. And we as parents may be in for some surprises at what they have to say!

littlebopeep
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Postby littlebopeep » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:38 pm

I think, Gabesmom, that the mercury-causes-autism people would say that introversion is not akin to autism. They see autism as an attack, via mercury, on their otherwise normal child. They might say that introversion is a God given personality trait and autism, via mercury, is a man-made poisoner of children, which can and must be eradicated.

It seems as though parents who believe their child's autism is genetic are more likely to embrace Acceptance.
Fred, 7, NT
Barney, 5, autism

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:46 pm

When I read statements such as "adults with autism say such and such," as though they speak for all people with autism, I cringe a bit. Yes, these people, who have names and have autism, say this or that. They speak for themselves, but do they really speak for ALL people with autism?


I agree with much of what you say, but I would like to add that, while it is true that every person with autism is an individual, and that all autistic people do not speak with one voice, I think it is a great deal more useful to listen to a person who has some perspective and has walked a similar (no, not identical) path than to a doctor or a horde of parents who have never experienced anything close to autism. There are people all over the world who have appointed themselves as the "voice" for autistic people and they have promulgated the notion that autism is a disease (like cancer) that needs to be erradicated. Thus, if I had my choice I would love to have every individual with autism speak for him/her self. As it is, those who are speaking out do have some very important and enlightening things to say, and I think we would foolish to ignore them.
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic

Mary
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Postby Mary » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:52 pm

littlebopeep wrote:I think, Gabesmom, that the mercury-causes-autism people would say that introversion is not akin to autism. They see autism as an attack, via mercury, on their otherwise normal child. They might say that introversion is a God given personality trait and autism, via mercury, is a man-made poisoner of children, which can and must be eradicated.

It seems as though parents who believe their child's autism is genetic are more likely to embrace Acceptance.


Bopeep, Good post. If you did have a completely healthy child, and then something happened that suddenly changed him into a different child, then trying to cure the illness makes perfect sense, just as you would if your child caught Lyme disease and couldn't walk because of it. But I agree, if you believe your child has genes for autism, then your approach may well be very different. However, all children certainly benefit from an appropriate educational intervention to meet their needs. Some children born with autism also may have unique nutritional, GI needs, just like children born with Rett Syndrome (a genetic condition) do. So there may be some overlap in the medical treatment of symptoms.

mom_of_an_autie
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Postby mom_of_an_autie » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:05 pm

Kev wrote:How could I resist participating in a thread like this? ;)

There are so many frankly bizarre misconceptions about 'acceptance' and its wider cousin 'neurodiversity' that I'm occasionaly driven to create whole new blog posts about the idea.

OK so acceptance is (IMO)....

1) Acceptance of the fact that your child is autistic.
2) Finding a way to work with that fact rather than fight against it.

There is a spectrum (if you'll forgive the pun) of acceptance. On one extreme we have the 'cannot ever accept' as personified by the Generation Rescue stance. Here's a quote from Erik's good friend John Best Junior, GR Rescue Angel regarding his own son:

That's what my son with severe autism faces. If he dies young, I will rejoice for him that he has excaped the nightmare that was his life


This is something we should all be fighting tooth and nail. Its almost certainly what Karon McCarron had in mind as she afixed the plastic bag to her baby girls head.

On the other extreme we have total acceptance of the condition of being autistic. I guess I'd put myself there.

Then we have 'acceptance's' close cousin - neurodiversity. Neurodiversity takes acceptance one step further and not only accepts differences but recognises it as equally valid and does not seek to alter it. I guess I'm there too. NB: Neurodiversity is not limited to accpetance of autism. The clue is in the name ;)

Its been my experience that acceptance/neurodiversity people are usually people who are highly sceptical of everything until they have thoroughly researched it to death. I don't see that with a lot (not all) treatment (before jumping on me read the below section on acceptance vs treatment) supporters.

Before I get onto that though what about this acceptance vs treatment issue?

Its a non-issue. Nobody, I repeat, nobody that I know who follows acceptance or neurodiversity opinion thinks that treatment as a concept is a bad thing. There are - as with all things - shades of grey. If your child head-bangs or smears faeces or has terrible GI issues then it would be madness to ignore those things.

However, treating these issues and treating autism itself is two different things. It is not required to remove or cure or treat autism to treat these other issues. If someone says they want to cure or treat autism then I personally have an issue with that.

So maybe treatment is also spectrum. On one hand you have people who quite openly state they have no desire to cure their childs autism but they do wish to alleviate the suffering their kids painful comorbidities can cause. More power to them - thats what I do too. However, you also have people who cannot seem to differentiate between something someone is and something someone has.


Shades of grey.




Hi Kevin thank you for your opinions on the concept of acceptance. For me personally the issue I have had with people on this board promoting acceptance is NOT that they encourage acceptance. It is what they think others should believe about acceptance. In my opinion it is not right to say a parent is unaccepting of their child for doing what THEY feel is right for their child. I personally am NOT fighting for the biomedical side or any side for that matter. I am speaking in reference to this board only. There are posters who accuse parents who do use biomedical inteventions as unaccepting and IMO thats where some of the "bizarre misconceptions" start.

I continue to stand by my statement that it appears hypocritical to say some treatments for our kids are ok but others are not. I think every treatment "changes" the child to a certain extent. Who gets to decide what treatments are acceptable and which are not?

Do I think some biomedical interventions carry risk and potentially harmful side effects? Sure I do. I have done alot of research into some of these and while I may not agree with using them on my child. It is not my place to judge parents who do use these interventions for their particular situation. Do I think ABA can be harmful if not done properly? Yes I do. But this is NOT what this debate is about.

So to me acceptance means....I have accepted my child has a life long condition and we move on....Have I treated his gastrointestinal issues? You bet I have. Am I addressing issues with his compromised immune system? Of course I am.

Do I feel like I am being disrespectful/unaccepting to my child for addressing these issues of his? No I do not

Kevin my point is this. There are extreme opposities on probably every issue out there. That does NOT mean that if someone does not agree with your opinion you can attack those parents. To me calling them child abusers and saying their kids are guinea pigs and accusing them of not loving their child is NOT ok.

Acceptance means different things to different people as demonstrated by this board alone. Do I think there should be a cure for autism? Well I guess that would depend on what CAUSES autism. Since at this point none of us KNOW, I think it is pointless to discuss it...

mom_of_an_autie
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Postby mom_of_an_autie » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:13 pm

littlebopeep wrote:
It seems as though parents who believe their child's autism is genetic are more likely to embrace Acceptance.



I think people who dont believe their child's autism is genetic are looking for answers. Maybe it is easier to accept when you KNOW what caused it.

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:18 pm

I don't know Littlebopeep, given the broad range of symptoms mercury poisoning has been attributed to, maybe I ought to go get myself chelated. Too bad it's too late for my senior prom! :wink:
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic

livsparents
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Postby livsparents » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:19 pm

mom_of_an_autie wrote:Do I think there should be a cure for autism? Well I guess that would depend on what CAUSES autism. Since at this point none of us KNOW, I think it is pointless to discuss it...


Since we don't know what causes it why should we 'accept' that what is happening to children in NOT reversible? What if different 'colors' of the spectrum are being caused by different things? Goes back to one of my comments weeks back to study and possibly fragment further the spectrum. What was crazy 100 years ago became mentally retarded 50 years ago has become autistic now. With each genesis we get closer to the truth and the subcategories created get the help they need...

BTW, thanks for clarifying your position on ABA, I agree, I just hate to see the advances that have occurred over the past 10 years overshadowed by a justifiable bias that many autistic people have towards it because of the way it was practiced in the past...

mom_of_an_autie
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Postby mom_of_an_autie » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:35 pm

livsparents wrote:
mom_of_an_autie wrote:Do I think there should be a cure for autism? Well I guess that would depend on what CAUSES autism. Since at this point none of us KNOW, I think it is pointless to discuss it...


Since we don't know what causes it why should we 'accept' that what is happening to children in NOT reversible? What if different 'colors' of the spectrum are being caused by different things? Goes back to one of my comments weeks back to study and possibly fragment further the spectrum. What was crazy 100 years ago became mentally retarded 50 years ago has become autistic now. With each genesis we get closer to the truth and the subcategories created get the help they need...

BTW, thanks for clarifying your position on ABA, I agree, I just hate to see the advances that have occurred over the past 10 years overshadowed by a justifiable bias that many autistic people have towards it because of the way it was practiced in the past...






Bill I think with treament some symptoms can definately be reversed. I also think parents SHOULD be entitled to apply those treatments to their particular situation.

I am simply saying we may be getting ahead of ourselves discussing whether or not people WANT to be cured since we dont even know any cause of autism( which I personally believe is NOT all genetic)

Mary
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Postby Mary » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:59 pm

I agree with much of what you say, but I would like to add that, while it is true that every person with autism is an individual, and that all autistic people do not speak with one voice, I think it is a great deal more useful to listen to a person who has some perspective and has walked a similar (no, not identical) path than to a doctor or a horde of parents who have never experienced anything close to autism.


There is a lot of diversity among people with autism, and I agree that it is very interesting to listen to what they all have to say. Temple Grandin promotes one approach. Some web sites by adults who call themselves "Aspies" promote another approach. Have you ever heard or read about Marty Murphy? She has a very interesting and unique message.

My job as a parent is to advocate for my child's needs until he can self-advocate. His dad and I are in the unique position of knowing him better than anyone (besides himself).

What I thought someone was saying [perhaps over-reading] was that, because some person with autism living in this place at this time said ABA was bad in the past, then we should all stop ABA. My philosophy is do your own research, collect information, consider your options, and make the best decisions that pertain to your child in the here and now. Maybe it's to do ABA, maybe it isn't.

Kristal
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Postby Kristal » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:08 pm

I just want to say that I apsolutly HATE when people say one side is biomed, the other acceptance.

I am a biomed parent who accetps my child for who he is....yet I STRIVE to reach for his full potential. And biomedical interventions have made a difference in how he enjoys life.

This year for his birthday, he was excited the day before. We told him two days before, that he had two "sleeps" before his birthday. The next day when he came home from school he said. "Want to go to bed. ONE sleep." He was wanting to go to bed so his birthday would come sooner. He put his jammies on at 4:30 too. He really enjoyed his birthday this year...he is 6 years old. I remember on his second birthday when all he would do was stim on the ribbons on the presents.

So which is enriching his life? Which birthday did he enjoy more?

Doing biomed...does NOT mean unaccepting. That is just insulting.

It is pro-biomed or anti-biomed. That is it. There is acceptance and non-acceptance on BOTH sides of that coin.

Me thinking that my child can do everything that a typical child does...is NOT accepting. Me HOPING that someday he can....why that is my goal. Do I believe that I will reach my goal? Geesh...I don't know. But I TRY. If he doesn't reach that goal? Well...then I will love him just the same, and know that I did all I could do to give him that chance. It would be MUCH EASIER not to do anything...but as a parent, I feel as if I want to give him that chance IF it is possible. But me realizing that he might not be....is ACCEPTING. There is nothing wrong with HOPE, but hope is harder than just resigning to their autistic future. I know I might be disappointed someday. But it doesn't change my feelings for my son.

So the two groups shouldn't be accepting/biomed.

It should be Resigning/Hope

And my NT daughter? I HOPE that she will be Valictorian some day. Do I believe that she can? Geesh...I don't know...she does have a shot at it. So am I going to encourage her to do well? Heck yeah! She is so bright and talented. Do I love her more than my son? Heck no! They are both unique and special. I ACCEPT THEM BOTH...and my little spitfire of my youngest daughter too. She is a whole different type of person than the other two.

--Kristal

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:42 pm

What I thought someone was saying [perhaps over-reading] was that, because some person with autism living in this place at this time said ABA was bad in the past, then we should all stop ABA. My philosophy is do your own research, collect information, consider your options, and make the best decisions that pertain to your child in the here and now.



Again, I agree with you Mary. I have my doubts about ABA being the right fit for my son, but I have not based that opnion upon what adult autistics have said primarily because it has changed rather dramatically over the last twenty years. I have done my own research, and looked at how it is typically implemented as well as the philosophy behind it. I do think we have to do what's best for our children right here and right now, and the point that I've made in the past is that I think a lot of people are so concerned about what the future holds for their child that they're not taking the time to really celebrate their childhood. This can be done with too much of any kind of intervention and too little of normal day to day living and parenting. It's sounds like you've found a great balance for your own kids. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived at that place yet.
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic

LM
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Postby LM » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:48 pm

What I thought someone was saying [perhaps over-reading] was that, because some person with autism living in this place at this time said ABA was bad in the past, then we should all stop ABA. My philosophy is do your own research, collect information, consider your options, and make the best decisions that pertain to your child in the here and now. Maybe it's to do ABA, maybe it isn't.


I haven't had a chance to read through this entire thread so I may be repeating what has already been said. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the ABA that is practiced today. Therapies that are child directed such as VB and PRT are derived from the science of ABA.

The variations of ABA I know invlove lots of play and social praise. It's not all about tangibles and edibles or aversives and "control." People who don't understand ABA or haven't seen a good ABA program are quick to reference the old Lovaas style program where kids are forced to make eye contact or physically forced to sit at the table for ungodly amounts of time or denied sensory input. A lot has changed since then and a good therapist/consultant is open to the contributions of Greenspan, Gutstein, Carbone, and Koegel.

Alex's mom
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Postby Alex's mom » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:58 pm

Well, yes, saying that people with autism promote acceptance and oppose change is just about as open minded as saying that all autism is caused by mercury poisoning. A generalization. Maybe Sinclair does, and Dawson does, and the anti-ABA guy does too. But
I know Temple Grandin doesn't. I've read where she actually gives a lot of advice on how to help people with autism build on their strengths and overcome some of their problems. I've read "Soon will come the light" (forgot author's name) and "Thinking in pictures" and I see adults with autism who have depression and anxiety , who have cows as best friends or no best friends at all and I'm thinking that they don't sound all that happy . I know the same holds true for some NT's, but I get the impression that the challenges of living with ASD may have something to do with it. They sound like they've found their comfort zone and are making the most of it, but it doesn't seem to me that they wouldn't change a thing or two if given the chance.

Kev- it is a continuum. Asking an ASD person for "consent to treat" is a very noble concept, but you know there are many things great in theory that fail the test of practicality (look at communism :) ). If they have enough insight, sense of self, ability to think abstractly, TOM etc as to be able to give you an informed answer to your question, than I would argue the diagnosis of autism in the first place. Especially during the best intervention years. It would be like asking me if I like living in Japan (never been there). Make that- asking me in japanese.
Also- another sticky point- say you embrace the stimming, the fixations, the rituals, the inflexibility, the lack of imagination etc as who they are (heck I know that there will always be some of that going on, not that I like it very much ! )- how much do you push their cognitive development- as in when is not understanding a story plot for example OK because that's them and when does it become necessary to teach a skill because it will make their life easier. My son just had an autie moment when reading Goldilocks with me- he just can't understand that the bears don't yet know that G. is in the house until they actually see her (classic TOM). Well, I would like for him to "get" it- it may never happen, but wouldn't his life be easier if he got the concept ? (and extrapolated it, of course :) )
This can become an endless thread easily- and without being antagonistic, just people who see things from different angles. I am really not searching for a cure ('cause I hope I will hear about it if anyone find one :) ). I am however for trying to reduce the autism coefficient (for lack of a better wording) if possible. I agree with BTDT and others, that unfortunately for our time and energy availability, in parallell with these struggles (with uncertain outcomes), we also have it as our job to educate others and make sure that no matter what our kids' future , they are always treated respectfully .

Re: Gutstein- www.rdiconnect.com. It is a VERY cluttered website, but if you can make it to the slides of the 2-day presentation (free download) it goes over the basics.

Take care everyone
Alex's mom

P.S. As for my earlier stroke analogy- when I was (much) younger I worked a summer for my dad who used to do stroke rehab for a living. Nobody asked to be left paralysed, or to be taught to walk just enough to maybe make it to the bathroom but still remain partly paralysed. Outcomes ranged from full recovery to fully bedbound, but everybody was giving it their best shot.

Tim
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Postby Tim » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:40 pm

I'm personally against "acceptance therapy". I agree that having more struggles in daily life than neurotypical people does not automatically mean that you will commit suicide. But people like Autism Diva can simply evade the problems that less fortunate autistics encounter in daily life, for example by not having a regular job (her website's profile says that she's a student...).

MCA
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Postby MCA » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:39 pm

Maybe I don't understand this theory well enough but unless I have enough $$$ to create a small kingdom for my child where everyone is nice and kind and understanding of his quirks after I have long left this earth, then I want him as equipped as possible to function in the real world.

I think I owe it to my kid to get him as capable of functioning in the NT world as possible, and if he chooses not to do so at some point, that's his deal. I don't know, it seems like if I just "accepted" him and tried to make him feel good then I'm not doing my job as his parent.

If I had tried everything on earth and my son made no progress then I'd move toward acceptance. But how can you accept something you might be able to change?

LittleManzParents
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Postby LittleManzParents » Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:12 am

All in all, temporary ugliness and hurt feelings aside, this is has been a great topic to discuss and think about. There have been so many good points to consider by many people here from various points along the "acceptance spectrum" that I wouldn't know where to begin (or end) in pointing them out specifically. It has actually been almost theraputic and helpful for me to simply be more conscious of the concept of acceptance in general - regardless of where on the theoretical spectrum I might be from one day to the next. It has not necessarily changed my opinion about how I will go about raising my child or what paths I will pursue in helping my child to lead a full life, but I do find that being mindful of the concept has lent an underlying sense of peace to the otherwise bumpy road of autism. Perhaps that sense of peace is what those in the "acceptance camp" (I hate such labels and divisions, but I'll go with it because I'm tired and lack the intelligence to come up with something better) had hoped to convey before things got out of hand and personal.

Anyway, thanks...

BTDT
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Postby BTDT » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:06 am

I've read "Soon will come the light" (forgot author's name) and "Thinking in pictures" and I see adults with autism who have depression and anxiety , who have cows as best friends or no best friends at all and I'm thinking that they don't sound all that happy .


I disagree with you about the happiness at least as it regards Temple Grandin (I'm not familiar with Thomas McKean, the author of "Soon Will Come the Light") I've seen Temple Grandin speak and she seemed like one of the more content people I've ever seen. She's very sure of who she is, very good grasp of her strengths and weaknesses. Yes, she does say in her book that she has depression and anxiety, but she found treatment for that.

As far as the cows for best friends, what's wrong with that? Actually I think she did say in her talk that she has people friends too. I think you're judging her happiness by your own standards. She's happy when she's designing livestock facilities, not exactly my idea of a good time, but if it makes her happy, what's the problem? She is very upfront in saying she has no desire to have an intimate relationship with anyone, she just doesn't feel the need. And gee whiz, she's a PhD, published several books, what more do you want? :wink: :)

In the talk that she gave, Temple Grandin spent a lot of time on increasing the strengths of those with autism, and modifying or controlling the weaknesses. On her website she has a couple of new books that look interesting that speak to those issues.

http://www.templegrandin.com/templegrandinbooks.html

Developing TalentsGrandin, Dr. Temple and Duffy, Kate
Forward by Dr. Tony Attwood

This career planning guide is written specifically for high-functioning adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum, their families, teachers, and counselors.

Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships
Grandin, Dr. Temple and Barron, Sean

Often those with autism/Asperger's suffer socially and professionally because social cues and perceptions hinder their lives. This enlightening and thought-provoking book by two of the leading minds in the field, who themselves have been diagnosed with autism, educates both those on the spectrum and their caregivers. Certain to become a classic, Temple and Sean lead you through their mistakes socially and ways they found to improve their lives.

(Sean Barron co-wrote the book "There's A Boy in Here" with his mother)


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