Bev: The widespread abuse of autistic people must be stopped.
Someone Else: Cure the autism. That will end all the problems.
Bev: There is no “cure” for autism. Autistic people need and deserve to be fully included in society.
S.E.: You are not autistic.
Bev: I am autistic, but even if I were not, there are still autistic people who need support and accommodations that they are not getting, and who deserve lives free of abuse and exclusion.
S.E.: Do you think that maybe vaccines are responsible for the increase in autism?
Bev: No. I think that the Judge Rotenberg Center needs to be closed immediately.
S.E.: Why do you reject all treatments for autism?
Bev: I reject the idea that “autism” itself is something that can (or should) be eliminated. I reject treatments that are unethical, inhumane, or lacking in evidence, whatever they claim to treat. I support OT, speech therapy, physical therapy, etc. where appropriate. I support treatment of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other medical conditions whether these occur in autistic or non-autistic people. I support special diets, supervised by real physicians, for people who have diagnosed food allergies.
S.E.: So you are against a cure!
Bev: There is no “cure” for autism. I am against the marketing of quackery. Unproven treatments like HBOT, chelation, Lupron, etc. do not cure autism and can harm autistic people (and also their families who go into debt to pay for these scams). What I am for is helping autistic people learn skills they need in ways that respect their unique learning styles.
S.E.: So, according to you, all research into autism should be stopped!
Bev: I would like to see some of the money that is spent researching possible causes of autism be put into developing alternate means of communication for those who need it. I’d like to see AAC made available to all who might benefit. I'd like to see some of the money raised in the name of "Autism Awareness" go into training employers, teachers, first responders, police, doctors and others who will find themselves in positions of power, however momentarily, over autistic people. I’d like to see major autism groups actually listening to the needs of autistic people rather than trying to prevent more autistic people being born.
But back to what I was saying…autistic people are routinely abused in institutions. Judge Rotenberg Center is not the only one, but closing it down would be a good place to start.
S.E.: People bang their heads because they are autistic. They need to be institutionalized.
Bev.: I have a history of hitting myself in the head. I can tell you that every single time I have done this, it was because I lacked a better way of saying what I needed to say.
S.E.: This conversation is not about people like you.
Bev: I know that. I am aware. I am more and more aware of this every day.