It has been a long time since I’ve written here, and I’m sorry for that. I have been very busy and trying to figure out what I want my life to look like now that I’m an adult, and I recently went through a very traumatic experience that took a very large toll on my mental health for months, and I am still recovering.
Today I want to talk about treatment. More specifically, I want to talk about the use of the word treatment and why it’s not necessary.
People often ask, “How do you treat autism?” Short answer: you don’t. Autism is a disorder, and I have no problem labeling it as such because the amount of pain that I go through just from being autistic makes it obvious that it is. Given the fact that it is a disorder, you would think that it needs treatment. Autism, however, is quite possibly the most unique and complex developmental disorder there is. It doesn’t actually need treatment, but even if it did, there is no such thing as a treatment for autism.
Autism is different from other disorders because autism is not simply a categorization for abnormal behavior or a label for a hormonal imbalance. It is not like other common disorders like anxiety and depression. The label “autism” absolutely has to do with behavior, but it mostly has to do with our fundamental cognition. It is not brought about by circumstances or illness or brain damage. We are born this way, and we will stay this way forever.
A lot of people believe that although autistic people are born the way we are, we still need to be treated in order to diminish our autistic traits and behavior as much as possible. This is not true. That mindset comes from the belief that autism is bad and that it needs to be “fixed.”
There are ways to help autistic people to function better. Since our executive functioning is lacking and our ways of communicating are often different, it can be very helpful to bridge the gap between neurodivergent people and neurotypical people. Keep in mind, though, that this will look different for every person. Autism is not a linear spectrum of more severe to less severe. The autism spectrum can be more accurately viewed as a color wheel (hence the profile picture of this blog). Knowing that. no one should ever try to find a handful of solutions that will better integrate every autistic person into society. It doesn’t work like that. Everyone is unique, and that includes autistic people.
That being said, there needs to be more education available and normalized for everyone regarding autism. Most people don’t really know what autism is, even when they think they do. If more people were educated and accepting of autism we would not have to teach autistic people to adopt certain behaviors in order to be more successful. We could just accept autistic people how they are as long as they are kind and considerate- just like we do with everyone else.
I acknowledge that autistic people are different. Different does not require treatment. Different is not bad. We are who we are and we’re doing our best just like everyone else is.
The more we move away from the idea that autism is a big bad disease that is such a burden on everyone involved, the happier the autistic community will be. Autism isn’t bad, and it doesn’t need treatment.