The Cure-All: A Reason to Be Skeptical

CONTENT WARNING: Mention of sucide

A small word about the previous article: I have been looking at the tips suggested, and a reader brought up something in a comment which I must address: not everything here is a cure-all. I mean, sure, the fruit, vegetable and lean protein diet can work for a lot of people, but not for everyone, to paraphrase. To be honest, I’m a little skeptical of cure-alls in general.

Truth is, if it is touted as a some sort of cure-all, I will get skeptical. I mean, the current touted cure-alls are CBD and bleach. (Isn’t bleach ingestion a form of suicide?) Explain the science to me. How in the world does a cure-all cure all things? What is it about the cure-all that is so necessary?

Perhaps I inherited this attitude from my mother. She was initially skeptical of me taking an ADHD drug when I was young. In time, it helped me so much, I took it for years. Eventually I grew out of needing it. I myself was resistant to taking an antidepressant initially, as well. In time, I accepted it and embraced it wholeheartedly. Another saying we have in the mental health world: “If you can’t make your own neurotransmitters (insulin, etc,), store bought is fine.” I feel that skepticism was necessary at one point for survival, but embracing things that help does us well, too.

So, in my previous article, there are a lot of things touted as what seems to be a cure-all in it, such as reducing stress, getting sleep and drinking water. Why did I suggest these tips in my previous article, since they seem to fall in the cure-all category? Because many of these tips (sleep, slower eating and lowering stress levels) are actually backed by studies and science. Chronic stress, for example, the type most people have, negatively affects a lot of health aspects, physical and mental. There is usually a good reason behind what I post. I am not going back on what I am saying now. If it is touted without the science and facts to back it up, then be skeptical.

That is also how I came to the conclusion that vaccines do not cause autism. What few people seem to remember about Andrew Wakefield’s study is that large-scale studies produced by such institutions as UCLA and the CDC, designed to create the same result (autism caused vaccines), DID NOT PRODUCE THE THEORIZED RESULTS. That is when the vaccine theory fell apart for me. This was early in the 2000s, by the way. Remember, remember, research and study all the facts you can before making a decision. Then, if new information comes up, factor that in.

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A Bit on Ali Stroker

Well, Ali Stroker won a Tony Award for her work in an Oklahoma! Revival. I am glad she won! That girl can sing and act! I am glad you can finally have limitations and have a representative.  

“Representation matters,” is a line Craig Melvin tends to use about the whole thing. He’s right. There is even video proving this online. In the video, a little boy, himself using a wheelchair, said, “That’s me!” He even got to meet her on the Today Show. I am so glad this is happening.  

There are a few small minuses to address. One of them is the line, “She’s an inspiration!” Basically, this says, “She is strong for living with such a tragedy.” You know what it says to me, a disabled woman? It says you underestimate human persistence.  That’s not cool.  Also, there is this nagging question: did she win because of her talent and work, or did she win because she was in a wheelchair? Hopefully, she won because of her talent and work. I would like to think that, especially since this question tends to nag me every single time someone less privileged in this society wins. (Did America Ferrera win her Emmy because she was talented, or because she was Ugly Betty? Did Ashley Graham win the Sports Illustrated cover because she was beautiful, or because it was lip service to body positivity? Did John Legend EGOT because of his work, or because of his race?) See how it works? I hope it’s because of their talents and work, in all cases I mentioned.

Anyway, I am so excited! Ali Stroker won!

Is This Burnout?

I don’t know what’s happening to me lately. I’ve been having writer’s block much more often, and for longer periods of time. I mean, how many times can you write about the same topics – measles outbreaks blamed on your existence, autism hate and discrimination, etc. – over and over? I mean, I wish I could have access to Game of Thrones and complain about the ending episodes like everybody else on the internet, but I can’t afford HBO right now. My cable bill is up to $200 without it already. Besides, do you want me to sound like a neurotypical describing autism and getting it wrong, like they usually do? Anyway, I did watch the series finale of The Big Bang Theory, even with the pseudo-autistic Sheldon. It was alright. Somebody finally explained to the pseudo-autistic what a jerk he has been to them. You can be autistic and still be kind, you know. Maybe I can complain about pop culture a bit, but even that seems like a strain to me.  

Perhaps it is a lack of inspiration? 

Perhaps this is burnout.  

Ugh, I feel like Gudetama right now.  

No, My Autism is NOT a Superpower or a Tragedy, It’s Neutral

Controversial, no? That I can see my condition as neutral? I guess I’m really different from other people. Let me explore the ways both values can be right and wrong, and show you how I reject both of them.  

Autism as a Superpower: This is not a viewpoint shared among many autistic people, though many non-autistic people think we do. Why people think we hold this is a mystery to us. Are we that arrogant to you? We certainly are not to ourselves. There are many things many of us cannot do without support, such as go grocery shopping. Perhaps the reason they think we hold this so-called belief is – maybe those dumb T-shirts saying “Autism is my Superpower.” I do not know of an autistic adult that actually owns a T-shirt with that message. The difficulties given to us by autism make us humble. Basically, it is arrogant to think that you are better than another person, simply because you are different from them. This pattern of thinking goes down a slippery slope to prejudice and scapegoating.  

Autism as a Tragedy: This is the other extreme viewpoint we try to ignore. This is ableism in a nutshell. Basically, a disabled person is tragic, and the only way they can make the world a better place is to remove themselves from it. In movies such as “Me Before You,” suicide for the disabled person is seen as good! How disgusting is that? It infuriates me. Just because we operate on a different level is not a reason to advocate for suicide! We are denying autistic people the basic right to live! Another slippery slope appears: If we kill off all the people who are different from us, whoever wins that war would be the last person on earth. I’m not going there. One person can only do so much. 

Why do people assign value to neutral events? Is this another symptom of the Power and Control addiction?  

I have decided to reject both viewpoints, because they are gravely erroneous. They both lead to the same conclusion: prejudice, scapegoating, and eventually, death to the autistic. I want to live. I want to be able to access the rights that only White Men!!! can currently: the rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I want my life to matter.  

What to Avoid when Looking for a Place of Worship

Content: Religious Talk, talk of cruelty and miracle cures, suicide, ableism

Now, I know that many of us autistic people are atheist. This is not for them, unless there is a place where atheists gather. I don’t know if there is.  For those of religious affiliation, sadly, the places of worship are filled with pitfalls of “autism awareness” and hatred. Miracle cures, ABA, prayer, the belief of autism meaning brokenness…this is by no means an exhaustive list of things to avoid concerning autism and worship.

If you sense a skew towards Christianity, please consider the fact that I am writing from personal experience. As we approach Easter, I am reminded that we need a ways to go in the church.

  1. Avoid places peddling “miracle cures.” – The church known as Genesis II still peddles that MMS stuff – basically drinking bleach for the unknowing. (Isn’t drinking bleach a form of suicide?) Do I really need to state that facing death is a risk of drinking bleach or shoving it up a child’s rear end?
  2. Avoid places who believe autism is a moral failing. – There is an ancient belief that any known health problems is a punishment from the Almighty. This is often a fallacy promoted by what is known as the Prosperity Gospel. “If you believed, your child would not be autistic.” Well, that is definitely not a tenet of Christianity, which is my belief system. Jesus did state in the Bible that “In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I am focusing on the first statement for now, because I believe it to be true. No amount of belief is going to change the fact that you will have trouble.
  3. Avoid the anti-vaccine place of worship. – This goes without saying. If you can prevent the spread of anything with a shot, go right ahead. It is God’s way.
  4. Avoid the Hypocrite. – In the church, we call them Pharisees. Simply put, they look good in the pew, but there is little evidence of following their faith outside their place of worship. Pharisees were even called “whitewashed tombs,” meaning they look good on the outside, but inside they are full of death. Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid them in any church.
  5. Avoid the Graceless. – There is a parable in Christianity in which a man was forgiven a large debt, though did not forgive another man a debt against him. In short, the larger forgiveness was canceled. Do I even need to explain the pain of holding a grudge?
  6. Avoid those who will not accept you. – This is what I dislike about the Church of Scientology. In the case of John Travolta is literally took a judge asking him under oath for him to admit his son Jett was autistic. And by then, Jett had died. What kind of church is so cruel that it rejects autism’s existence? You may need to educate on Autism Acceptance to the place of worship, but if they accept the teaching of Autism Acceptance, stay. Do I even need to explain the pain of rejecting people with real problems? The church is a hospital for sinners, not an elite club for saints.

In short, a church that only accepts the perfect and those without problems is empty. If they will not accept you, shake the dust off your feet and go find another one.

Older Dads Cause Autism – Really?

I recently came across a theory that older parents are more likely to pass on autism to their children. But can we give this theory to ALL of the autistic children? My own father was twenty-five at the time of my conception. (My mother was twenty-eight.) I think this theory cannot hold the water in every single case. Perhaps there are younger parents who pass on autism to their children without any so-called “inferior” genes. Regular genetics, whether by chance or design, is a much stronger theory, and autism existed long before it was discovered and named.  

If you don’t believe autism existed before its naming, consider the behavior of the “fairy changeling.” In many changeling legends, there exists behavior similar to autistic meltdowns and stimming. Wikipedia has several examples of this behavior listed in the various cultures of changelings. But I digress. 

Since there is evidence of autism and other conditions in fairy changeling folklore, I propose that autism existed long before its naming, and that its existence is purely due to genetics – not genetic mutation caused by older and therefore “inferior material.”

New Jersey Kids and So-Called “High-Functioning” Struggles

TW: Talk of Functioning Labels and Their Fallacies 

I’ve got two special things to talk about: New Jersey autism rates and the struggles of autistic adults.  

Let’s get into the autism rates of New Jersey. I hear they’re the highest in the nation. Other high autism states are Oregon, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, in that order. Google the rest. So, what are we, the autistic people, supposed to do with this information? I don’t know, maybe offer our practical and empirical help to the parents and medical community there? It would be their fault if they don’t take the help.  

There is also the so-called surprising data finding that the autistic adult labeled “high-functioning” struggles as an adult. Why is it so much of a surprise? I don’t know. Have you asked the autistic adults themselves? I don’t think so. Then it would not have been so much of a surprise! The fallacy of the labels such as “high functioning” lies in this fact: Autism is the only condition whose affects are decided by people who are NOT affected by it! How wrong is that?