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Why I Don’t Want a “Cure”

Should there ever be a magical, mystical, brain-altering “cure” to autism some time in the future, I can assure you that I, personally, will not take it. Here are my top 3 reasons (excluding my theory that autistics are descended from angel-cats) why:

 

1/ It would most likely change autistic people’s personalities

This one is pretty obvious. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder and so attempting to modify someone’s brain would almost certainly affect personality, along with a number of other things like coordination and memory.

2/ It has a lot of negative connotations

Also axiomatic is that the whole concept of a cure for autism holds many hostile implications. Autism isn’t undesirable, it’s almost like being left-handed; most things are designed for right-handed people, but by putting certain measures in place, i.e. left-handed scissors, left-handed people can feel more welcome. (All we need now is for right-handed people to stop nudging us with their elbow when we’re writing IN PEN.)

3/ Autism is beautiful

Sure, there are some things like struggles with motor skills or being nonverbal that can sometimes make certain actions a little trickier, but I will happily use the overused comparison of this to some parallel universe where everyone looks the same, walks the same, speaks the same amount, laughs the same, thinks the same and knows only about the same things. That’d be boring, and what’s life without a few challenges?

 

[Image is by CafePress via Pinterest.]

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Stimming

Why I Stim

A lot of people ask me this when they find out I’m Aspergic. My stimming is mainly just messing around with stationery at school, and more hardcore at home (think human worm meets caffeine). At school, it’s usually to curb boredom, and at home to kind of express my frustration at homework, at school, at anything, really.

Stress and pressure can be really overwhelming, especially when people bring it up all the time, so I use stimming as a tool to both convert the stress and pressure into a different sensation, and to alert usually my parents that something’s bothering me.

Because if I tried to communicate my frustration at something through speech, I’d probably start crying because it’s all-consuming and, in a way, painful. It makes my muscles feel rigid and sore, and my breathing shallow. There’s also a sense of impending doom, which I know sounds completely overdramatic.

Alternatively, I do a sort of hand-waving to bathe in the excitement of things but also to show appreciation. You bought me a box of chocolates? Why thank you, I will flap my hands as a token of my deep thankfulness. You brought me a take-away? Let me just wiggle those arms because I am broke, but if it is not vegetarian I may have to kill you.

Anyway, every autistic person’s experience of stimming is different. Some may prefer not to stim at all, and some may never stop stimming. Different people’s stims can mean different things, so if you presume that someone is pissed that you bought them chocolate cake and take it away, they may punch you.

~ Clary (because if I’m going to have a pseudonym it has to be edgy)

 

[Photo by MissLunaRose, via autism.wikia.com, as a side note I’d recommend reading all the wikiHow autism articles she has written because they are bomb ass.]