"We are not in need of a cure"; an open letter.

Dear X,

I will not be writing about vaccines, and the controversy around them; all I wish to do is talk to you. You probably are not even aware that I exist; we probably have not even met. But..

We-every single person on the Autism spectrum-are not in need of a ‘cure’; I also think that it’s awful how some parents are made to feel shame, if their child is diagnosed with Autism. Because, well, it can be, and is,  a gift.  And such a great gift at that.

We are all people. We are just like you. Only different.

The problem in this world is not our condition-because it can be utilised to do so much. You would not have people like Alan Turing, Thomas Jefferson, Issac Newton.. All of these people have given so much to history. The problem is the prevailing negative attitudes-“oh, we must help these tragic people!”, or “are they even human?”-and how they impact us. ‘Special interests’ are usually deemed to be ‘weird’ whilst we are growing up-but they could be useful in various industries. This trait allows us to go beyond the normal, allowing us to probe deeper than usual.

Aspergers Syndrome was named after Doctor Hans Asperger, and he called his group of children ,who the condition was first observed in, his “little professors”. Many times since some people have referred to us as being akin to a ‘genius’-if there is such a thing.

Why get rid of that?

In spite of the generalisations that we lack empathy, or have no emotions-we just feel in a different way-to be an outlier in this vastly ‘neurotypical’ world is not easy.

I would never get rid of my Aspergers. It has given me skills that have always been useful-such as in my burgeoning career as a journalist-that many of my peers, when growing up, would hope to, but never, acquire. They wondered how I got an interview with a celebrity, for instance, whilst laughing at my bumbling attempts to join in yet another social meeting.

The curse of ignorance surrounding Autism is something that I would never wish on anyone.

We are not in need of a cure; we are in need of understanding. We are alike; we are human, just like you. Disability is  an asset-look at how many writers are Dyslexic, for instance!

Why can’t we work together, and go forward together, instead?

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