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.

Advertisements

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.  

Kondo-ing before Kondo-ing was Cool

Well, somebody on a TV show is having trouble giving up a bookcase. They had it since they were a kid. That’s what they said. I guess it bugs me that people feel a need to hold on to things beyond their use or purpose. I mean, beyond a true illness (and I count mental illness as true illness), I don’t see the purpose of holding on to stuff beyond their use.  

Sure, nobles and the British Royal Family has tons and tons of stuff to furnish their houses, but usually, that stuff’s purposes have not expired. You can keep furniture around as long as you like it. I’m not trashing people with lots of stuff. I just don’t find it too useful for me.  

A few years back, my mother and I decided to go ahead and sort through our household things. Blankets, clothes, kitchenware, you name it. We threw out things we did not use, and kept enough stuff to keep going afterwards. I guess we are not as attached to our stuff as other people are. To us, it has to fit in our vision of what the house or life is. Basically, it has to bring us joy.  

That’s where Marie Kondo comes in. She is always asking, “Does it bring you joy?” For example, our silverware we use to eat, so yeah, that stuff does bring us joy – joy in health. Maybe I’m rambling, but for me, a thing has to have a place – a use – to stay in my life.  

I’m looking at our stuff and it may be time to go through it again. We need to conserve space in our apartment.  

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.”

Quickshot – World Autism Month. Yay.

I’m stating the title rather sarcastically in my head. I mean, I think Autism Awareness, in the traditional sense, has already saturated the population. I mean, who asks “What is autism?” anymore? How about Autism Understanding? How about Embracing the Autistic? How about Autism Acceptance? There is literally no one I come across that asks me “What is autism?”

“Mom, Can You Schedule a Colonoscopy for Me?” Snowplow Parenting and the Autistic

Now, let me give you some background: A person who needs a colonoscopy scheduled is usually around 50 years old. By that time, it’s a good bet their parent needs care themselves, if not already dead. That is often the problem with autistic people: their parents worry a lot about who will care for their child when they die. I’ve got a radical idea: why not prepare the autistic child to be capable of caring for themselves?  

Now, I know what you are saying: there are autistic people who still need 24-hour care. Perhaps you could teach and schedule somebody to trust with your child in that case…but I’m not talking about that case. I’m talking about an autistic person who can be taught to care for themselves. If you teach them to access community supports out there, and be their own advocate in a hateful and prejudiced world, you might not have to be the usual Snowplow Parent.  

I referenced Snowplow Parenting earlier, because it is common in parents of autistic children. Snowplow parenting is the parenting style that does everything for the child, moving all obstacles to success out of the way, like a snowplow. The trouble with that is, the child emerges into adult age unable to deal with obstacles themselves, needing the parent to care for them throughout their life, even when the parent needs care themselves. Now, many autistic adults have had to learn to “adult” as adults. That, my friends, is much harder to do than learning how to take care of yourself in childhood. You’ve heard the saying, “It is easier to raise a strong child than repair a broken adult,” right? It’s a saying for a reason.