meeting with your therapist

The Cure for Autism

A number of clients have been curious about a “cure” for autism. It makes me sad that our current understanding of autism often frames it as an issue that needs to be fixed when autistic humans are so beautiful and worth celebrating. What I’m saying is that there’s no cure for autism because autism is not something that needs to be cured. There are certainly challenges that come with being autistic, but my colleagues and I know that autism is something worth recognizing and understanding rather than “fixing.” This post is going to briefly explain what autism is, who has it, and common traits to look for.

If you want to learn more about autism, check out our podcast episode:

What is autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by a range of traits, social differences, and diverse sensory profiles. The amygdala is the part of the brain that processes your ‘fight or flight’ response. Autistic brains have enlarged amygdalas. This impacts processing memory, making decisions, and emotional responses.

It can be overwhelming to have an autistic brain because autistic brains have more synapses firing at once.

Who has autism?

Me! I am autistic!

Okay, but more generally, who is autistic?

The United States Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 44 children are autistic. I believe that those figures might be inaccurate simply because most studies down over the years were focused on white male children. You have to consider that undiagnosed autism in other groups, specifically women and BIPOC, is a significant factor.

Many people see autism as existing “on a spectrum.” (Technically, the diagnosis is called “ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder”.) Conversely, referring to autism as a spectrum is unhelpful because it implies that some people are “more” autistic and some are “less” autistic. The “spectrum” actually refers to the fact that there is a range of differences in multiple categories. All autistic people are unique. If you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve only met one autistic person.

What are common autism symptoms?

  • Difficulty guessing what others are thinking or feeling
  • Experiencing social anxiety
  • Preferring routines
  • Having a very deep interest in certain subjects and activities
  • Having issues with personal space
  • Sensory differences (sensitivity to loud noises, lights, textures, etc)
  • Preferring solitude over company
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Seeming rude to others without meaning to
  • Taking things literally

The people who initially researched and documented autism underserved women and BIPOC because early research focused on white male children. Autism presents a little differently in these groups, with one attribute being more common than others – the ability to ‘mask’ or ‘hide’ their symptoms of autism. Autistic people do this manually by copying the behaviors of those who don’t have autism. Everyone who has autism experiences some form of masking, but none more than women and BIPOC!

AshTree Counseling Center values neurodivergence and loves working with autistic people. The cure for autism is simple: knowledge. If you are a resident of North Carolina and would like to schedule a free consultation with me or my fellow therapist Ashley, please click on this link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *