Why is there controversy over the Combating Autism Act? What does it involve?
Autism is not a mental illness, but a neuro-biological disorder. But I’m not sure what category would be best for this question. I hope placing it here in the mental health section does not offend anyone. If it does, I’d like to apologize.
Ok, what exactly is the Combating Autism Act, and why are many parents of Autustic children, and many Autistic adults against it? Will this act find ways to prevent children with this syndrome from being born, or will it simply spread awareness about Autism, and provide treatment so that Autistics can function with more ease in society?
Would this also apply to people with Aspergers? Also, what will this mean for adults who have gone undiagnosed for years, only to find out at 20, 30, and older they have an autistic spectrum disorder? Will they be ostracized even more if Autism is eventually gotten rid of in the future? I’m confused and interested in hearing both sides. Thanks.
The Combating Autism Act is all about diverting funds to research a way to detect autism while the child is in the womb. There already is such a test for cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, and Down Syndrome. I cannot speak for CF or for SB, but I can for the DS. This sounds great, I know! I thought it was at first. My 5 yr old is autistic, and I would have loved to have known in advance that he had it, to have time to prepare, to research, to be more understanding from the start. What I learned though is that after this test for Downs was approved and in place, fewer babies were born with Downs, because the parents chose to abort the babies. A lot of us are seriously against the act because as parents of children with autism, we KNOW that even though our children have serious challenges and life isn’t always fun, our kids are so wonderful! They have moments that just blow you away, and can be so full of love. But, I can guarantee you that parents will not be told this when they test positive, and how unfair is that to abort a child with only hearing the scary, unknown possibilities? I took that stupid test for downs with my youngest child, and it came up positive, although I don’t remember the ‘chance’ they gave, but it was a high chance. I refused to take the amnio, because that can cause miscarriage and babies have been damaged from this. The specialist did everything he could to talk me into aborting my child, because of ‘how difficult it can be to raise a special needs baby’. If I wasn’t strong on my stance I probably would have aborted. How sad is that? My child didn’t have Downs! I found out that that test is not very accurate at all, that there is a high percentage of false positives. So, how many little lives were lost because of one-sided information and fear? It’s our fear that the same exact thing will happen with autism. Thing is, Autism Speaks, one of the biggest fundraisers for autism research, supports the combating autism act, so I don’t support them or any of the other high profile companies. If they would instead focus on testing these children AT BIRTH to determine if they had it, I would give them every dollar I have. But, I cannot and will not support a cause that ‘could’ basically cause a whole ‘type’ of people to be erased from the planet. Here’s a link for you to look at, it’s the one that started opening my eyes.
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