Rewiring the Autistic Brain
“Signs of autism — such as impaired social skills and repetitive, ritualistic movements — usually begin to appear when a child is about 18 months old. Autism is thought to result from miswired connections in the developing brain, and many experts believe that therapies must begin during a ‘critical window,’ before the faulty circuits become fixed in place. But a new study (abstract) shows that at least one malfunctioning circuit can be repaired after that window closes, holding out hope that in some forms of autism, abnormal circuits in the brain can be corrected even after their development is complete.” [Source].
BenoitRen: Great, now we’ll be able to fix all of them! We really need that! /sarcasm I for one find this very offensive. It’s like telling all autistics they’re malfunctioning.
Anonymous Coward: Preface: I’m diagnosed with asperger’s, a form of high-functioning autism, and I do a lot of work relating to autism advocacy.
That being said, the language might need a little work, but we don’t try to pretend a person with a deformed arm doesn’t have a deformed arm. … There’s really no question that autism has a physical element. It’s somewhat disingenuous to try to talk as if autism isn’t a “malfunction” in the human body.
If someone is missing a leg, and goes on to lead a normal life anyway, you don’t pretend like it never happened, you stand proud of them for overcoming it. If you want to support those on the spectrum, be proud of those who accept that there’s something malfunctioning in their body and find a way to make life work despite that. Don’t try to pretend like there’s nothing malfunctioning, because the first message that sends is “if you can’t do it, it’s all your fault” and you’d never tell that to a person who couldn’t walk because they had a deformed leg.
I don’t know what’s normal. I don’t know what kind of brain is functioning, so I can’t determine the malfunctioning ones. All I ever seem to gather is that we’re all malfunctioning to various degrees.
I have always agreed with the idea that those with disabilities, developmental disorders, etc, should not be treated as if they cannot live a normal life to any degree. Having bad eyesight is sometimes not considered as a disability by many people, even though they may wear glasses or have to do something else to help them see.
However, it is. And although we can opt for people to have eye surgery, to eradicate their issue, many choose not to do so. I think similar treatments should all be optional. It’s not a necessity if those with these problems are able to live decently regardless.
Regarding people who are parents being faced with the decision to either keep the child the way they are or to put them through surgery (for example) to ‘fix’ things, I suppose that’s up for them to decide.
This argument highly relates to that surrounding the cochlear implant, of which some people get or do give to their children. Some of the deaf community feel it is a threat, of which looks to erase the deaf community or put being deaf under negative light.