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Curebies

Rant request from griffen "Cure-bies who assume that autistics who don't want a cure also don't want help, as if 'cure' and 'help' were synonymous."


Several form of mental "illness" are actually different ways of seeing the world. Things like autism and aspergers syndrome are among them. A curebie is someone who wants to "cure" the problem - make the person "normal" or "neurotypical - but not just help them to relate to the rest of the world as they are.

But what does a person lose by being made "normal" ("cured")? A lot, including their self. I sure as hell would not want to be "normal"!! It wouldn't be me, and what was left would be dull, unimaginative, and limited. My abnormalities in brain chemistry and psychology, un-labeled or un-diagnosed though they are, are part of what makes me me! Society loses as well, since the differences in perspective on problems and the world in general are part and parcel of the engine that drives innovation, the arts, and other discoveries.

But these asinine curebies assume that every wants to be "normal". To them, the "norm" is the holy grail of human experience, when it is really just the average, ordinary, and quite a bit dull. Yes, it makes it easier for people to relate to one another if everyone is "normal", since they never need to allow for different types of thought processes than their own. But then they are never challenged, never asked to question their own base assumtions about what it means to be human.

So, when someone says they don't want a cure, a curebie says "Well, if you don't want to be cured, we can't help you at all. You're stuck in your own hell, and are a fool besides."

Nevermind is that all an atypical wants is a means to bridge the gap between themselves and the rest of the world. They say to the curebie, essentially "I don't want to become you, I just want to be able to communicate with you and deal with you without driving either one of us straight up the proverbial wall!! Why can't you see that? Is that so strange, to just want to communicate with you without becoming just like you?"

The curebie response is "No, if you don't want to become normal, 'cured', we can't help. We won't try to understand and figure out how you can adapt, or even compensate, in your dealings with the rest of the world. It would take effort away from the 'cure' we know, for your own good, is what you really, really need! Aren't we nice for looking out for you, and making sure that we drive you toward what we believe is in your best interest?"

Then they wonder why the atypical wanders off muttering about do-gooder assholes and control freaks.

What to do about this? In part, change the language. In the brain injury arena, the idea is adaptation and compensation, not cure. After all, we don't say to the person who's lost an arm "Oh, well we can't help you adapt, or provide you with a prosthetic, because we're busy researching a cure that will regrow your arm!" So atypicals aren't necessarily looking for a 'cure', they are looking for adaptation and compensation strategies, to find ways of dealing with, communicating with, and comprehending the neurotypical that don't involve sacrificing their selves on the altar of normality.



Comments?

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
treecat
Jan. 13th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
Plus when you look at the huge percentages of people who are "atypical" from add to autistic, "atypical" becomes a misnomer. If so many people are affected, then what you really have is a different variant of normal, not an abnormality. The "curebies" you speak of have a similar attitude to someone whose answer to race relations were to say we'll make everyone look the same.
ladyqkat
Jan. 13th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
I think one thing 'curbies' either forget or refuse to acknowledge is that normalcy does _not_ mean "everybody must look/act/think the same". Normalcy mearly is what is typical for that particular person/situation.

It used to be 'normal' for those in grief to 'don sackcloth and ashes'. Now, there is a wide spectrum of dealing with grief. It used to be 'normal' to show the bedsheets after a wedding to _prove_ the bride was virgin.

Society changes, people change, times change. What is 'normal' today may be tomorrows abnormality.

I speculate that those of us who have neurological 'abnormalities' may be the forerunners of a change that will be accepted as 'normal' in the future.

And then again, it could just be my wishful-thinking abnormality rearing its very odd head.
wulfmann
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
The curebie response is "No, if you don't want to become normal, 'cured', we can't help. We won't try to understand and figure out how you can adapt, or even compensate, in your dealings with the rest of the world. It would take effort away from the 'cure' we know, for your own good, is what you really, really need! Aren't we nice for looking out for you, and making sure that we drive you toward what we believe is in your best interest?"

Even if "cure" is the ideal, unless you have a "cure" now, doesn't it make sense to work on dealing with what is rather than what could be in some dim and distant future?
wulfmann
Jan. 14th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
And, sadly, many people's idea of a "cure" would be to be able to detect such "abnormalities" in the womb and abort... thus reducing the incidence of such "abnormalities" in society.
(Deleted comment)
wulfmann
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:22 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I didn't know that. :(
mlion
Jan. 14th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's scary shit and it's been shoveled under the rug for years. Hitler and crew asked the US eugenecists for help when they got started.
I've been researching it for about a year. A retired librarian at the State Library saw the collection of Eugenics material and squirreled it away so it wouldn't "vanish". It's disturbing as hell.
siliconshaman
Jan. 14th, 2005 09:04 am (UTC)
Hmm, you know if you subsitute the word "gay" for "autistic" that rant still works...
ravan
Jan. 14th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yep, whether it's neurological, psychological or sexual, the "typicals" want to make the "atypicals" conform and be just like them, so they don't have to contemplate anything outside their own little worldview.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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