Saturday, May 15, 2010

Plans to Eradicate Autism.

At first glance eradicating autism appears to be a noble and worthwhile cause. Autism can be extremely difficult for individuals and families to deal with. After all, no one thinks "Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder." However, many of the world's most gifted artists and scientists were probably on the autism spectrum. How much poorer would human civilisation have been without many of these people?

With a prenatal test for autism being developed, a world without the beauty of autism is what some would have us aspire to.

I find it difficult to articulate how sickened this makes me feel. Someone is assuming that perhaps our life would have been better if we were able to choose to abort our children with ASD.

What will be next, a test to predetermine a persons propensity towards mental illness so that those people will not have to burden society?

With prenatal tests for Downs Syndrome we have seen the numbers of abortions skyrocket for children with Downs. There is little doubt that when a similar test for ASD becomes available many families will choose to abort because they will be led to assume that having a child with autism is too difficult. Increasingly we as a society are continually looking for the easy way out without questioning what we loose when we take the easy road.

When did we start to believe the lie that only a perfect child is worth having?


Renelle said...

I am astounded. I think your reaction is fully justified. When I was pregnant I chose not to have those prenatal tests much to the disgust of my obstetrician. I would not be without my children or have them any other way. They are what makes our life unique and our relationship with the Lord an actual relationship ( as I talk with the Lord about everything in my life) I still feel I am somewhat pressured by society, even just now thinking about what programme to follow to teach cursive! Well thankyou for reminding me that it is alright to be different and follow the road less travelled. Take care friend. Blessings

Tricia said...

We didn't have the tests either, Renelle. We were fortunate to have an obstetrician who respected our desision with not a word of coersion. Unfortunately not everyone is so fortunate.

I think it says so much about our society when women are actively encouraged to abort children who are different. We need to support such families not make them feel that they are doing something wrong by choosing life.

Gae said...

Dear Tricia,
I could not believe this when I read your post.
I guess our Moran would fall into a "choice child" and that just makes me cry with hurt that someone could dismiss her life like that.
Thanks for sharing this distressing news. I would never have know otherwise.

Butterfly said...

I'm with you. Advances in medical science bring much good, but also raise new controversies. There's a lot to think about in your post and the comments so far. There have been many inspiring interviews with people who have autism, depression, schizophrenia, tourettes, and other labelled conditions ... courageous people who have learned to live with their limitations, face challenges, embrace their unique perspective, help others and achieve things they otherwise wouldn't have.

I guess what's important to me, is making a conscious choice based on REAL information (not hype, political stances or societal indoctrination) ... this is where many people feel incapable of going against the flow, or don't even realise they HAVE a choice (just do what they're told by doctors, friends, media, parents). Open discussion like this helps to empower people.

It's such a blessing to have the Lord to make our choices with, and to know He created each of His children just the way they are!

Suzanne said...

Well said Tricia! AS Grandmother of two beautiful ASD Grandsons I can't imagine life without them; they are gifted just by thier presence here within the family I cherish. Each has a unique and wonderful personality of his own; I see the grace of God equally in my three Grandsons and pity anyone who thinks society would be better off by tidying up what they don't want to deal with, let alone see past ASD and see the beauty of the individual. May God go with you today and always.

Beyond Tony said...

I'm a late comer to your blog, but thanks Trish for sharing these views with us. It is refreshing & I couldn't agree more...