Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Gut and Autism

This is meant to be brief, to get some words down and get on with the day.

I've been thinking a lot about the talk and research on the gut (intenstines and digestive system) and autism. There's a lot out there to say that there is a connection. Of course, everyone will nod and agree that what affects one part of your body affects the entire body. But what could be causing these gut issues that could play a role in autism?

Obviously food is one thing that everyone focuses on. GMOs, hormone fed animals, too many carbs, not enough carbs, starting solids too early, starting solids too late, gassy foods, gluten... there are a lot of foods out there that people claim are good, or bad, or too much of them, or something. 

Then there's other effects like colic, and what on earth that is, and where does it come from. 

There's all kinds of reasons for babies to be accosted from birth with all kinds of things they can't handle like physical problems like tongue ties to allergies to something mom is eating (if breastfeeding), to allergies to formula (if formula fed), to environmental things like smoking or something to city pollution and then as they grow up the effect of those same foods listed above....

It seems too much to think of.

One thing is for sure; autism isn't going away. And though I can't speak for all adults with autism, I think a lot of us resent the fact that everyone seems focused on cures, whether with treatments and therapies to special diets. Sure, if you think that it's healthy for your child and family and you can manage it, then fine, but to claim that this is "the cure" for it is insulting to those of us who are functioning adults, or even just happy and content the way we are, and not viewing autism as something to be cured or fixed or therapied out of us.

So many people told me that I did not have aspergers because I "seem so normal". The thing is, treatment or not, we do grow up and function in society. There are probably just as many of us adults out there as there are kids with autism, we just aren't diagnosed and pushed into therapies to teach us how to act and be like everybody else. I wonder what long term affect these therapies could have on autistic children as they grow up - always being told as adults that they have to manage their symptoms and ignore their stimming and join the rat race of a world, all leading to crashes, meltdowns and probably a lot more than that because we were told and convinced that we could do it... but we just can't. We have weaknesses that are different from the rest of the world, but we have strengths that they don't have as well. We need people out there teaching us to find and encouraging us to use those strengths, instead of pushing us to be like everybody else through therapies and diets.

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