Autism Cure

There is no autism cure. Autism is not a disease. Children do not outgrow autism and there is not a standard therapy that is known to be successful for all people with autism. Treatment alternatives have evolved over time as more is learned at the learning style of autistic individuals.

The traditional autism training combines special education and behavioral management. It is believed that the earlier behavioral, educational, speech, and occupational therapy is begun, the better the long-term outcome. This is an intensive and long-term commitment with no easy answers. Different approaches work better than others for different people. Accepted interventions may work for some and not for others.

A reputable specialist will present each type of treatment, give the pros and cons, and make recommendations based on published treatment guidelines and his or her own experience. Be aware of all the options so that an informed decision can be made. The decision of which treatment to pursue is made with this specialist but the decision is ultimately the parents'. Be certain it is understood exactly what is to be done and what can be expected from the choices.

The core features of autism are life long. Many variables enter into each person's experience with autism, including the symptoms and associated behaviors, their severity, the family environment, and the types of interventions used. Treatments and training may help children learn social behaviors to the point that they no longer are distinguishable from their average peers but it is not considered an autism cure.

When families first receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum for their son or daughter, it is not long before they are bombarded with literature that focuses on “cure” or “recovery.” For many, this goal becomes the single focus of any programming efforts. As the years progress, many families view the absence of a cure as tantamount to catastrophe.

Since there is currently no known or reliably effective autism cure, this goal should not be the primary focus. The desperation families feel in the absence of a cure highlights an urgent need to develop a model for successfully “living with autism” even as we pursue a model for helping individuals “recover” from autism.

The good news is that, through carefully designed support for positive, constructive behavior, it is possible to enhance the quality of life for people with autism and their families. A support model mirrors the field of general medicine in which many chronic conditions are also not curable at present. For example, people with diabetes, arthritis, AIDS, cancer and heart disease are often not cured and, yet, with support and appropriate management, they can live fulfilling lives. So too, can people with autism and their families.

No autism cure? - May as well go back to treatments

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