QOTD: Treatment vs. Cure

Let’s look at these two words, shall we?


The act or manner of treating; management; manipulation; handling; usage; as, unkind treatment; medical treatment.


v. restore to health, make well; correct a bad habit; preserve food
n. something which restores health; prescribed treatment for an illness; office of a curate


Now, which word more accurately depicts addressing the Autism Spectrum?

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0 thoughts on “QOTD: Treatment vs. Cure

  • June 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    It would be amazing if they could find a cure for Autism, however, I think treatment is more realistic for the time being.  

  • June 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    treatment for sure.. but then what do you call that boy who was supposedly “cured” of autism? what happens if they find treatment so good it could actually make it go away?

    I don’t like the word cure, but in that instance I don’t know what else fits…

  • June 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    This is something that I argue with people all the time – treatment/managment vs cure.  Since my son was born with a brain that is wired a little different – that is what keeps life interesting in our household.  I am sure that at some point when he realizes that the “norm” is different from him – he still won’t care.  It breaks my heart to see and hear of parents putting their children through these horrific therapies, diets, etc.  Seriously – how would you think a typical person would tolerate such nonsense – mix that in with hypersensitivity.  It is my job as a parent to ensure that my child is comfortable, healthy, well rested and well adjusted to what awaits him out the door.  He is the way he is – that is the way he was sent to me – and that is the way he will always be.  Behavior management if necessary has to be learned, diet – well my guy lives on peanut butter and nutella sandwiches – he has ensure 2x/day and he is in the 75% for height and weight.  He sleeps as much as he needs, he is learning how to ride his bike and loves to go the library every thursday with his dad.  We don’t “treat” him differently or focus on what he can do – we focus on what he can do and manage the little things in between.  He is going to grow up and we might get to have a conversation with him that will last longer than 3 seconds.  In the meantime – I will take whatever hugs I can get from him, enjoy his laughter and his smile and his robust energy and take what he teaches me and apply it to my life.  Parents gotta know that these kids are only given to the ones who can manage – take your gift with absolute appreciation that you were one of the ones that was picked to get one or two of these kids.  Treatment/management – yes!  Cure – there isn’t one.  Cheers

  • June 10, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    @bluejacky@xanga – Looking back at the stories my mom told about when I was an infant / toddler, the only thing that would keep anyone from suspecting autism was the fact that I started talking at about seven or eight months old. Before that, I screamed practically non-stop, especially at certain times of the day. Because I was using full sentences at less than a year old, nobody suspected there was anything actually wrong… even though I told them so. I was simply told to “stop acting silly” or “you’re making that up” or “you have such a wild imagination”.

    Would I like a “cure” for my hyper sensitive hearing? Actually, no. I would however like to learn how to filter out background noise so that I can understand what people are saying to me. I think that would solve a good deal of my social issues. I can comprehend only what I actually clearly hear. If I’m playing “fill in the blanks” then I’m not going to understand what is being said. I wouldn’t even mind wearing some kind of hearing aid that would help filter out unnecessary noise. But, even that would have it’s down sides because I wouldn’t have the “early warning sensor” that lets me know someone is behind me… I already jump a mile if someone touches me from behind even if I know they are there. I can’t imagine my reaction if I DIDN’T know they were there.

    That is my problem with “treatments” and “cures”. For me, they require giving something up as much as being relieved of something detrimental and/or annoying. In some cases, the good would definitely outweigh the bad. Personally, I would rather learn to develop my weaknesses into strengths.

    Would I support genetic manipulation for the prevention or reversal of autism, should it be proven to be a genetic thing? Not really. Too many potentially awesome people would be screwed up in that process. Who knows what kind of freaks might be created by screwing around with genes in an attempt to “fix” it. It is one thing to isolate a specific gene that causes a life threatening disease that does not otherwise effect the mind of a person, (other than the obvious distress over having a terminal physical condition) but with the research that has been done so far in the study of autism and genetics, it involves multiple genes. Personally, I believe the risk would outweigh the benefits. If it were to be found that a single gene is responsible for the complete deabilitation of an autistic person, and it could be “fixed” and still leave their mind otherwise intact… that is a completely different story. It all depends on how much of a person would be changed by messing around with their genes.

    For me, having Asperger’s is not the end of the world… for me cure me = destroy me.

    It’s kind of interesting… I feel kinda like one of the X-Men…LOL.

  • June 10, 2009 at 6:38 am

    @keystspf@xanga – And then some of us with what is defined as typical Aspgerger’s started out as higher functioning autism, the only tool being anywhere diagnostic back then was me being verbal, but the spectrum didn’t yet exist by any medical standard.  So I was put through all the normal stuff with a whole lotta challenges.  Sink or swim, very miserable childhood.  But NOW… I can pass for just about normal all the time, and people scoff at me arguing that Aspgerger’s is on the spectrum, and that higher functioning autism and Asperger’s are merely semantic.  TomAto=-tomAHto, as it were.  They don’t yet see autism being progressive in any positive way, despite people like Temple Grandin and Vernon Smith.

    What bothers me about treatement vs. cure, if anyone cares.  Cure denotes disease.  Even though I have acute physical problems associated with autism, such as digestive pain and hypersensitivity leading to migraines, I feel my brain would not be as ‘on’ without this intense nervous system activity.  Just as some people say they feel more creative with untreated depression, so I feel more ‘thinky’ with untreated overwhelming nervous system problems.  I don’t see this as disease.  Others might.  I don’t want a ‘mental illness’ blanket thrown over me just because I have these problems.  As for treatment, my doctors have tried handfuls of meds on me for years, and since I’m an adult, I can report that just about everything aggravates my nervous system in ways that aren’t normal.  I respond counterintuitively to meds for anxiety, come full awake in the middle of total sedation (during heart surgery, no less), have to zombie myself up just to sit in a movie theater because of all the assault on my senses while I’m stuck in one position for two hours.  I wouldn’t mind turning that off once in awhile, sure.  But because I go through ALL that, I find I have learned empathy and compassion that I otherwise naturally did NOT have, nor could seem to learn, ~because~ I have *experience*.  I am able to empathize with terminally ill children and teens (cystic fibrosis- digestive problems), older people who get cranky with arthritis and pain (same kind of sensory overload, as far as I can tell), and everyone in between.

    There is no cure for colds and headaches and liver failure, how can we possibly come up with a cure for a spectrum condition that runs the gamut of everything from sensory overload to personality defects and social dysfuntion?  I can see trying to cure cystic fibrosis with gene therapy, because it doesn’t change the ~person~.  But ‘curing’ the autism spectrum– who I call ME would be completely wiped out.

    This reminds me of one of those superhero movies where the public wants to cure the mutants, and the mutants have to fight against being strapped down against their will.  The public can argue this all they want, the public here including those on the spectrum, but in the end, there are quite a large number of us who like who we are *anyway*, and will tolerate all our challenges because we have accepted them.

    I wonder how much of a faux pas it would be to walk up to people with Down’s syndrome and ask if they want to be cured.  It wasn’t that long ago that being black was considered medically deficient.  I think perspective takes time.

    And frankly, I was offended out my ears when I first ran into ‘cure autism’ groups.  Apparently I’m not alone, there are plenty of ‘save autism’ groups out there, alive and well.  How about ‘accept children for who they are’.  Some parents are fabulous helping their children cope, and I know they worry about how they’ll continue after the parents are gone.  I’ve been around autistic people all my life, both verbal and nonverbal, and to me it’s as normal as everything else going on around me.  For others who find it shocking and horrible– my mother nearly killed me trying to fix me.  She poisoned me time and again with disturbing amounts of unregulated supplements, one of which was actually illegal and was purchased contraband, broke me out in a viscious rash that hurt my skin all over, high fever, and show told me that was the toxins working out of my body.  So excuse me while I cringe when I see the word ‘cure’.  I’ve spent my entire adult life dealing with illness that could be (can’t be proven) related to possible near liver failure from so much stuff being poked down my mouth as a child.  All I can say is, PLEASE be careful with the meds and treatment and measuring pros and cons.  Underneath all that is a human being who is constantly being reminded there is something wrong with them, and many of them can’t speak for themselves.

    I wrote this after I read an article in a magazine about an autistic child being misdiagnosed as schizophrenic and winding up medicated to the point of institutionalization and treated with electroshock therapy after the meds put him into a catatonic state.  I was absolutely horrified to find out this is NOT uncommon.  the stupid vs. the catatonic

  • June 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Autism that causes severe disability to the point where the person cannot function on their own most definitely needs some kind of intervention. If a “cure” will allow that person to live a full, happy and “independent” life then that is a good thing. But there is not always a “lack of health” involved in being autistic.

    I understand that there is some debate as to whether or not Asperger’s Syndrome is actually “on the spectrum” or if it is it’s own entity, but given the number of common traits I personally share with people who are autistic…  at least for me, it is.

    However, I personally have no desire to be cured. Treated? Perhaps, but I would not want to trade the benefits of being on the “high functioning” side of autism for the ability to be “like everyone else.” I would like “treatment” that would help me to compensate for my readily apparent lack of “executive function.” I would like “treatment” that would help an Aspie learn to understand, experience, and appreciate the emotional aspects of life. I would like “treatment” that would allow me to remain myself. My “quirks” are part of who I am. Yes, I am different. Yes, I am misunderstood A LOT. But, most of the negative aspects of being an Aspie have come from people trying to make me like them and refusing to understand that I see the world from a different perspective.

  • June 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Fix– the taking upon one’s self to correct something they don’t like about their child.

    Leave alone– something I respect people doing for me.

    I can’t say how others on the spectrum would feel about it.  I just know I’m miserable when other people can’t forgive me for being me, and sometimes go out of their way to let me know I don’t fit in.

    This is why Rudolph and Mr. Spock and other characters are so popular.  Sheldon.  I love Sheldon.

  • June 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Semantics.  I want my child to be able to live on his own.  I don’t want him to have a home, not live in a home.  Call it a cure or call it a treatment…I don’t care.  I just don’t want him to be at the mercy of ignorant and uncaring politicians  and taxpayers.

  • June 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    It depends on who’s dealing with the condition.  Some people don’t even consider autism a “problem”, so of course they’re not going to try to cure it.

  • June 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I think in lieu of a cure, treatment is appropriate where it may lessen physical or mental suffering.

    Speaking for a child who is completely care dependent, any cure that would allow for a more secure future (especially if something were to happen to me and my wife) is a welcome one. The thought of our child in an institution or on the street is bitter. 


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