Toni Braxton’s son was not cured of autism and it’s irresponsible for her to say so

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ASPartOfMe
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11 Aug 2016, 11:28 am

RabidFox wrote:
Wow, I'm already lost. This conversation sure has exploded.

I'm not sure what everyone is talking about at this point, because the discussion has gotten so complicated so fast. To the best of my ability, it sounds like there is a lot of anger going around.

Do I think that someone with autism can be cured? Well, maybe not in this lifetime, but I really do believe that there might be some kind of "cure" that people have not yet found. I really don't believe that it's a medical cure, like a pill. I think that it's something psychological, like a special treatment program involving intensive therapy or something similar.

My understanding of this situation is extremely limited. I do not read about celebrities and I do not keep up with the latest information. What I think about this is really simple. I am trying to imagine a child that has been diagnosed with a severe developmental disability suddenly acting and talking like a normal, everyday child. That confuses me. From my point of view, it's like all of a sudden he's learned to play a piano without any visible effort.

So I'm thinking here... Okay, there's this kid that's autistic, and he must have been doing something to get that diagnosis, yet now he's just fine. That is what confuses me so much. One day, he was severely undeveloped, and the next, he's completely off the spectrum.

Now that doesn't make me close minded. I do believe that a "cure" is possible and I do believe that some people get misdiagnosed as very young children. What I have trouble understanding is the sudden drop of behaviour that classifies as autistic.


It is not a matter of one day the child is autistic the next day they not. Even the cure peddlers do not claim that. It is a matter of the child not having enough autistic obvoius impairments anymore to warrent the diagnosis.


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RabidFox
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11 Aug 2016, 11:54 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
It is not a matter of one day the child is autistic the next day they not. Even the cure peddlers do not claim that. It is a matter of the child not having enough autistic obvoius impairments anymore to warrent the diagnosis.


I didn't really mean it that literally. I was thinking maybe over the time of a few years or so. It's just, from my point of view, I have trouble understanding how someone could be cured that fast. I know that autism can get better, even wildly so. Over the course of my life, I've gone from being almost completely non-verbal to writing on forums to actually speaking with a therapist. So, yes, I'm definitely a success story myself. I'm just thinking... Wow, that's a lot of improvement over such a short period of time. But then, like I said before, my understanding of this situation is extremely limited. I don't keep up with the news.



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11 Aug 2016, 12:52 pm

Kids evolve so is it possible for a kid to appear autistic and have the symptoms at a young age but then they lessen as they get older. Does that mean they had it to begin with? What if there was no intervention? How would they still turn out? I have read stories about kids who were severely autistic but then were high functioning and appeared normal as adults. So is it possible that a kid can be autistic and then be NT as an adult? Look at Raun Kaufman for example. He was diagnosed as severely autistic but then by age seven he appeared to be NT. His parents started the Sun Rise Program. What is parents did was engage in his world by doing self stimulation with him and professionals were against it believing it would reinforce the "habits" but instead he started to connect to them eventually and then after that he started to gain NT skills and get more and more normal. But people also have questioned if he was ever autistic to begin with. But Raun himself believes he had it and then grew out of it. He doesn't appear to have any symptoms still nor has he ever mentioned it himself. He also wrote a book about his recovery. I want to read it sometime.


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League_Girl
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11 Aug 2016, 12:57 pm

Quote:
I am trying to imagine a child that has been diagnosed with a severe developmental disability suddenly acting and talking like a normal, everyday child.


It doesn't happen overnight. I doubt it even does. What happens is the child gradually gets better as they mature and grow and then soon they appear normal. It doesn't mean they were autistic one day and the next day they woke up, they're normal. It happens gradually as the child makes progress.


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/


BTDT
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11 Aug 2016, 1:15 pm

Now that he is a semi-public figure I suppose it will be easy to see whether or not he needs help when it comes to hooking up with a significant other for a long term relationship.



kraftiekortie
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11 Aug 2016, 1:18 pm

That pretty much happened to me.

It was thought that I had a "severe developmental disability" at age 3-4. By age 6, I was pretty much talking like any other 6-year-old.

When I was 6, I learned to tie my shoes, dress myself, write, cross the street alone, buy things from a store and get the correct change (that actually occurred when I was about 5 3/4), and ride a bike (still with training wheels).

When I was 4 years old, I could do VIRTUALLY NOTHING--though I was toilet-trained. I was able to count and to read words, though. By 5 3/4, I could pick up Dr. Seuss and read the whole thing, and understand it. By 6 1/2, I could read what is now called a "chapter book."

I had absolutely no verbal speech until the summer of 1966, at the age of 5 1/2.



RabidFox
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11 Aug 2016, 1:48 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
I am trying to imagine a child that has been diagnosed with a severe developmental disability suddenly acting and talking like a normal, everyday child.


It doesn't happen overnight. I doubt it even does. What happens is the child gradually gets better as they mature and grow and then soon they appear normal. It doesn't mean they were autistic one day and the next day they woke up, they're normal. It happens gradually as the child makes progress.


I think you might have missed it, but I explained my thoughts in this post...

http://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=326841&p=7252550&sid=6d77a13e225b4199bff4cebaeb977e70#p7252483



Colorou
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11 Aug 2016, 6:55 pm

Different Brains. Different Problems.
It's just different brains. There is no cure. We need diversity in order to evolve, neurodiverse brains think differently and excell at life in ways Neurotypicals do not and vice versa. Humans love to freak out over people that are "different". So what we have a sensitive nervous system and get sensory overload. I also see a lot of my traits as survival strong instincts. We need to embrace Autism and push for mentors hip programs for people on the spectrum. We learn by observing not sitting in a classroom. We all need something different, we all offer something unique to the World when we try.

I don't know about you but I feel like I'm f*****g awesome and intelligent in a special and rare kind of way that draws a lot of cool people to me. :heart: I'm offended people think it's a disease or can be cured. This is neurodiversity. For all we know the high functioning aspergers brain is what we a re evolving to. A sign...of you will :twisted: :P :jester: :mrgreen:



alex
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11 Aug 2016, 7:23 pm

Totally agree with Colorou. 8)


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somanyspoons
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11 Aug 2016, 7:44 pm

erased because of some weird glitch happened and I managed to quote myself. Was the glitch in the computer or in my brain? We may never know.



Last edited by somanyspoons on 11 Aug 2016, 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

br0wser
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11 Aug 2016, 7:56 pm

I've been with this site for several years. I don't say a whole lot, mostly lurk, because usually people tend to figure things out on their own without my contributions.

But I really do take exception to the concept that "autism is curable." It really really upsets me. It upset me no end when Jenny McCarthy used to spout crap about it (and I strongly suspect Jim Carrey is autistic - he shows signs) and now Toni Braxton has opened her piehole about it. To say that "autism is curable" means that all the depression and suicidal ideations and attempts I had and tried from being so different from everyone else while I was in my 20s and 30s was meaningless. I could not tell you how much time and money I spent on various ways to try to figure out why everyone else was so different from me - psychology, religion, divination, astrology . . . and the end result was that I knew more stuff, and was still alone.

Then one day my ex-wife told me that my son had been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and that it was thought to be hereditary, and that I should do some research on it. I read the DSM-IV-RT criteria, and that was ME. Finally, I had figured out why everyone else made no sense - it was because I was the one who was different!

As a child, I was hyperlexic, asocial, placed in advanced reading and math classes all through elementary school, was placed in the "gifted" program, did well on the school Scholars' Bowl team, play 4 musical instruments . . . I was "high-functioning," all right. I was so "high-functioning" that my best friend told me I looked like I was zoned out all through high school, and I have very few memories of that time in my life.

So don't give me that crap that autism is "curable." Autism isn't a disease; it's being different. It's being an individual, and we, as a society, need to stop trying to shove square people into round pigeonholes. It's ok to march to the beat of a different drummer. As someone else in this thread said, let the children be children. They'll grow up soon enough.

AND STOP TRYING TO "CURE" THEM!! !! !!


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11 Aug 2016, 9:00 pm

We mostly agree that autism is a developmental disorder, and it's sometimes called a developmental delay. The child with autism may eventually learn to speak, to identify emotions correctly, and to form relationships, but more slowly than his peers.

What I never see talked about is all the neurotypical kids who plateau in high school - where they are the football captain, the cheerleader, the prom king, student body president, popular kid, etc - and then never do anything of note for the rest of their lives. It's like they develop and develop up until high school, and then stop flat. Think about it, we've all known people like that. I wouldn't say it's all neurotypicals, but it's a subset.

By comparison, the most healthy and fully functioning people continue to grow and change throughout their entire lifespan. They grow mentally, ethically, morally, socially, and emotionally.

We need a concept and a term for prematurely terminated development. Then we can debate whether anything should be done to "cure" it.


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Tron81
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11 Aug 2016, 9:13 pm

There is one element that seems to be missing from this discussion.

I saw this story on Facebook because it was shared, and liked, by African-American friends. The article I saw was on blackdoctor.org.

It got me thinking about Asperger's / high-functioning autism, about neurodiversity, and the fact that (from what I've seen) it's kind of a white world.

I wonder if there is a cultural difference here.



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11 Aug 2016, 9:16 pm

The symptoms of Autism puts one on the spectrum. Once the symptoms are gone, Autism is gone.
Personally ... important contributions are made by people with Autistic traits; to remove those traits is to take a way the ability to provide their unique perspective. We need autistic people, please stop curing them.!



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11 Aug 2016, 11:23 pm

None of us, I presume, know the kid in question. I personally believe that autism is a catch-all diagnosis for what is really a number of similar, but distinct, conditions. Perhaps there is a small subset that can be "cured." I don't know that that isn't true. And even if such subset does exist, it does not minimize the experiences of others who have a different course with the condition.

My daughter was in the moderate-severe range when she was first diagnosed as a toddler. Her language was late and developed atypically. She had repetitive behavior. She did not respond to her name. She was stimmy. She had meltdowns and SIBs. She had no awareness of other kids around her. She definitely "looked autistic." She had some interventions from 2-5. Helped her gain speech, deal with sensory issues, and learn rudimentary social skills. I have worked with her every day of her life to help her learn social scripts. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that she had any therapy that even remotely "cured" her. It all just helped her. Structured things for her. I have always said that her biggest issue is that she cannot learn incidentally. Everything needs to be broken down for her. That makes socialization very difficult for her because there are way too many nuances to break everything down.

She is almost 11 now and if I took her to see any specialist out there and did not share her history, I doubt she would get a diagnosis. Her behavior is "fairly" typical at this point, and provided she was in a good space when evaluated and properly prepared--meaning she knew in general what was going to happen--I really don't think anyone would peg her as autistic. They might pick out a few eccentricities, but I think she would likely just read like a bright, artistic, quirky kid.

I suppose I could call her "cured" if I wanted to.

But I think she is just well-compensated, and I think those are two different things. She still has underlying issues. She still has to work harder than most kids. *I* still see the remnants of autism in her. Her brain is still wired differently. Only people who know her well or know what to look for see it now, though. Most people just see a smart girl who is shy at first, socially naive and a little immature, and who gets overwhelmed more easily than other kids her age. A kid who is super creative and expressive and who feels things intensely. She is described as caring, well-mannered, and funny (once she warms up). She has a few friends. Kids in her class like her, even if they aren't really "friends."

Actually, I think now she is probably a shadow, like me. But then, if she is a shadow, that means she isn't really autistic anymore, doesn't it? Because I'm not really autistic...I just have a few traits, but I compensate well and function more effectively than people fully on the spectrum. And so does she...or at least that is where I think she is clearly headed. So, what is she? An autistic who really doesn't have the same issues as other autistics anymore? Did she recover? Was she cured? She is *mostly* like a typical kid now...so what does that make her? Does she identify as 75% NT and 25% NAT? "Of mixed-neurology"? Either an early faker of autism or a current faker of typical wiring?

People sometimes act like these are simply dichotomies. It is much more complex than that. There is a continuum and I don't think it is too farfetched to think that someone could move so far "up" on the continuum to no longer be qualified for a proper autism diagnosis. That doesn't mean they are free of all issues. That doesn't mean their brain has become magically typically wired. That doesn't mean they--or their parents--are misleading anyone about anything. It just means that--for whatever reason--their level of impairment has decreased to the point that it may no longer be truly classified as an "impairment" in the sense that it constitutes a disability.

But don't even get me started with how much it p*sses me off when people say that she was never autistic to begin with. That's just offensive.

We don't know this kid. Perhaps it is irresponsible for us to pretend we do, based on our own experiences, or our fear of what the story might make other people think.


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