Since my “induction” into being a mom of an autistic child, I have studied hard to find the ties that connect autism to us. I’ve researched all ends of the spectrum, from biological, medical, environmental, neurological, and sociological ties. In these 7 years since I have been baptised by fire, I will admit that I am in no way a global expert on autism. I can, however, look at autism globally and see the ties that many people try to make with their theories.
From what I’ve witnessed in our autism community, some actions, attitudes, and axioms are very polarizing. We have a very turbulent community, almost heartbreaking in its non-support of each other as we all cling ferociously to our hypotheses of the cause of autism. We even have a dichotomy within our community of people who want a cure for autism, and those who support “neurodiversity” and are happy with being autistic, claiming it is their essence so why destroy it. I have attested on various occasions of intense debate among all levels of the spectrum, the “cure-bies” (the ones that a cure), the “bio-meds” (the ones who believe that autism is caused by vaccines), the “neurodiverse” (autism is a neurological part of their brain, please accept it for what it is), and those of us who see all sides and just want all of us on the spectrum to support each other.
How can the “outside world” take anything that we say for fact if we are all shouting different messages with varying degrees of intensity, often drowning and cancelling each other out?
In my experience, you need to look at all sides of this issue. It is such a monstrosity that if one doesn’t take time to study each level of the spectrum, he/she would be foolish. I have much family experience with autism from not just my son, but also other family members including myself. (Yes, I have Asperger’s traits as well.) You could say that not only does autism run in my family, but it gallops. 🙂
So, I take this personal knowledge with me when I engage with my spectrum of autism friends. I try to take a loose end and make a tie with it so that hopefully after I’m finished with all my interactions, I can see a web of support, love, and understanding within my wonderful spectrum.