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asperger's syndrome information and features

         

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A life without hope?

Children with Asperger's syndrome grow up to become adults with Asperger's syndrome. We don't stay 'like children' all our lives though... we do grow up, mature, learn, and develop, but we are always different.

There is no cure for Asperger's syndrome. You can be trained to disguise it with behaviour modification or you can give someone drugs which make them appear more acceptable to you and others, but underneath they are still the same person.... they are still thinking differently and experiencing the world differently. I can only speak for myself, but from my perspective being forced to disguise Asperger's syndrome just seems abusive and counterproductive. I feel motivated enough for myself to try and fit in as much as I need to to get by, but it is different when you have no choice or control over it... when you are made to feel that the real you isn't good enough.

I was diagnosed as an adult so in many ways a 'cure' doesn't apply to me. The medical profession and society have little interest in those of us too old and set in our ways to be altered and integrated. What we get is a pat on the back and told tough luck and sent out the door left in total confusion as to who and what we are. Then to add insult to injury you find out that the world thinks people like you shouldn't be allowed to exist.... that is what 'cure' really means in the world of autism.... destruction and prevention.

I can only tell you my opinion, which I happen to know is shared by many others, but sure... there will be some people with Asperger's syndrome who judge their lives as having not been worth living and who would leap at the opportunity to be cured if they could be, and who would certainly like others to be spared the sort of suffering they have endured. The thing is though, who decides who is going to suffer and who is not? Adults can look back over their lives and assess if it was worth it or not, but unborn children can't.

How do you measure the value of a persons life? No test can measure how much potential someone has to live a happy rewarding life or how much potential they have in terms of the contribution they can make to society. Besides, lots of normal people live miserable lives or never achieve anything but no one questions for a second their right to live. I just don't think it is up to people to decide what sort of people they want to allow to exist or not. There are many voices who call for the cure... all well intentioned people with the best of motives... but I think they are wrong.

This all offends me so deeply because when they talk about Asperger's syndrome they are talking about me. When they say they don't want Asperger's syndrome to exist they are saying they don't want me to exist. There is not a non-autistic version of me somewhere deep inside. I don't so much have Asperger's Syndrome, as I am a person whose neurology produces behaviours described as Asperger's Syndrome. Most of the suffering I have comes from causes external to myself. I am not a victim of disease. I am me. Getting diagnosed was about me being acknowledged as different, recognized as functioning differently, and as not being able to change because that was who I was, and not just a lifestyle choice or a bad attitude.

Ultimately, if the aim has become to destroy autistic people then it will be the worlds loss. To quote Temple Grandin...

"Civilization would probably pay a terrible price if the genes that cause autism and Asperger's's Syndrome were eradicated. The world might become a place full of highly social yakkity-yaks who would never do anything new or creative."

Difficulties can be avoided and overcome, but unique and special people cannot be replaced. Each in our own way we add to the rich tapestry and colour of the world.

To conclude then, there is definitely no cure for Asperger's Syndrome and the concept of such a thing makes no sense anyway.. If you could change a person enough for them not to have Asperger's syndrome anymore then you would have just changed them into being a different person. Sometimes people use the word cure when really they mean disguise, and sometimes people use the word cure when they mean abortion.

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