Most of the time, when someone expresses a desire for a "cure" to the autism community, one of the neuro-diversity (ND) folks says, "If you want to cure your child with autism, you are no better than the religious extremist parents who try to pray away their child's homosexuality." I have a few problems with this.
First off, a homosexual can have a rewarding and fulfilling life whether or not they are "cured". Let's not get into salvation here, folks, I am talking about their life here on earth. They can hold down the job of their choice, live independently, and do almost anything they wish -- except get married in some states, but that seems to be changing as well.
Many autistics (especially those that are leaders in the ND movement like Ari, JER, Temple, etc.) also live fulfilling lives. Wonderful. Do I think they should be forced to take a "cure"? Hell, no.
But what about the autistics on the other end of the spectrum? What about the non-verbal folks or the ones with debilitating co-morbids? Can they live rewarding and fulfilling lives? Many of those folks will need long term care and cannot ever hope to live independently. Is this a full life? Not so much.
Secondly, the religious extremist is in conflict with the homosexual child. One wants the condition while the other does not. In the case of my older, verbal son, we are both opposed to the autism. He has told me repeatedly that he wishes he didn't have autism. So we are NOT in conflict. While I have no idea what the younger son would say about this (as he is non-verbal) he is the one that will have the most limitations on his life.
So if I do not consider a cure, aren't I dooming him to an institution some time in the future?
Isn't that almost child abuse? It certainly seems neglectful to not even consider the possibility of a cure.
The other analogy that is usually thrown out is that it is like you are saying you want a totally different child -- a non-autistic one.
OK, I get this one, but it isn't accurate. If a parent were to say "I would do anything to get rid of my son/daughter's autism" then I would be right there with the ND folks to condemn them.
But I have NEVER said that I would do "anything" to cure my child(ren). I refuse to put either of them through anything that I feel would harm him. If a cure is never found, I will continue to raise and love these two quirky young men I have been given. Their autism is only one aspect of their personality.
Would they have the same personality without their autism? I actually think they would. It has been formed. But I do want to know what my 16 year old is thinking when he giggles for no apparent reason. Do I care if he toe walks or flaps or makes eye contact or whatever? Not so much. But I would like someone to find a cure for the unnecessary violence and communication problems. In my opinion those are not co-morbids they are the autism.
So yes, I am still hoping for a cure.