Talking about MMS…

…”please understand: THERE ARE NO CURES OR MIRACLES. When someone offers you a cure or a miracle, WALK AWAY. “

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The text below was written by a girl I admire, Sandra Lopez. She is studying medicine, is autistic, and has to hear a myriad of comments and advice from “well-intentioned” people, as she explains below. The “Mineral Miracle Solution” or MMS she mentions is a “cure” for autism (and a ton of illnesses and conditions). MMS is chlorine dioxide, and its use can result in death. Its use is forbidden, and this naturally has given rise to a group that believes in an international conspiracy to prevent people from getting “cured.” Another “treatment” Sandra mentions is DAN, which is also forbidden. Many believers interact in social media, and give each other advice, share stories about a loved one being “cured,” and, of course, they sell it.

 

Sandra writes:

Talking about MMS: there is something that worries me more, and that will ALWAYS be the perfect excuse for these quacks to win: the lack of acceptance shown by the family of the diagnosed person, and the lack of respect toward people with a diagnosis.

For many years now, I have received messages from parents telling me how much I can “improve” if I follow a gluten and casein free diet (without me having any intolerance toward either, as I’ve been able to determine with medical tests), the DAN protocol or MMS. And so many crazy things they can think about… throughout the years, my patience has been reduced to zero.

I still read about parents who say they love and adore their child (and I am sure some do; others… I’m not so sure) but who, if autism had a cure, and someone would guarantee them a “recovery,” would do everything they could to pay for it and “cure” their child. That is a half-hearted acceptance. And I’ve heard from other people on the spectrum who have expressed something similar.

Autism, with its implications, is not easy (as I’ve said countless times). More so, in a society where EVERTHING is based by and for neurotypicals (or that believe they are neurotypical). But, please understand: THERE ARE NO CURES OR MIRACLES. When someone offers you a cure or a miracle, WALK AWAY. It is not good for us. And no, NOT EVERYTHING IS ACCEPTABLE IN AUTISM.

Many articles have been written in the last several years about the consequences of this type of treatment. Cases where people died, suffered an intoxication, or irreversible metabolic complications. But, or course, the people who sell them keep winning and increasing the number of their followers, who believe anything they say, without questioning. Just like it happens with the anti-vaccines movement.

And the irony… this paranoia about “big pharma business”… please. Selling miracle therapies is a GREAT BUSINESS. If you don’t believe me, check how much it costs to follow those protocols. People who sell them are not good Samaritans.

I get it; all parents have a thousand expectations about their children. And then we arrive, carrying a diagnosis, and ruin their plans. The idea that a cure exists, and having someone offer the opportunity to “cure” us, is tempting. But think about us. We are here, and the last thing we need is for our own family to reject us, under the disguise of “wanting to see us get better.”

No, not everything is acceptable in autism. It is not acceptable for a child to die or suffer complications because of these therapies, or because their parents refuse to vaccinate them, as they’re scared of a diagnosis.

What we do need, instead of “recovery,” is to be given tools and support. But as long as you don’t accept your child and work with the child you have, BELIEVE ME, these autism quacks will keep gaining ground, becoming rich at the expense of our health, and will keep making life difficult to us…

 

Originally published July 28th, 2018, in Spanish.

Who do we tell our children that they are?

Who am I? The answer depends in large part on who the world around me says I am. Who do my parents say I am? Who do my peers say I am?
– Beverly Tatum

Neurodivergent people are at risk of mental health issues, partially because of the rejection they encounter in neurotypical society. Or the need to always go the extra mile to accommodate neurotypical feelings/customs/ideas. And even that is not enough. They continue to feel misunderstood and at fault for everything—for more on whose fault it is, read this great post by Autistic Not Weird.

We, parents, shape our children’s first experiences. We are also the people who are closer to them for the longest periods of time. We have an outsized influence in how they see themselves—we are their first mirror. What will they see through us? Will they see someone worthy of love, full of potential? Or a defective, damaged being?

 

Beverly Tatum wrote in “The Complexity of Identity: ‘Who Am I?’”:

“Who am I? The answer depends in large part on who the world around me says I am. Who do my parents say I am? Who do my peers say I am? What message is reflected back to me in the faces and voices of my teachers, my neighbors, store clerks? What do I learn from the media about myself? How am I represented in the cultural images around me? Or am I missing from the picture altogether? As social scientist Charles Cooley pointed out long ago, other people are the mirror in which we see ourselves.”

Who am I
The picture is of text, reading: Who am I? The answer depends in large part on who the world around me says I am. Who do my parents say I am? Who do my peers say I am? What message is reflected back to me in the faces and voices of my teachers, my neighbors, store clerks? What do I learn from the media about myself? How am I represented in the cultural images around me? Or am I missing from the picture altogether? As social scientist Charles Cooley pointed out long ago, other people are the mirror in which we see ourselves.

As Tatum mentions, it is not only parents who influence the self-image of a person. Peers, teachers, neighbors, store clerks, the media and other cultural images matter. We can directly monitor our own voice, expressions and behavior toward our children. But those teachers, peers, neighbors… they will base their reactions to our children on our behavior. We set the tone that determines how others relate to our children. If we’re disdainful, demeaning, hurtful… they will follow suit. If we show love and respect to our children, they will know our children are valuable to us. If we speak to their teachers and peers and neighbors in a way that shows understanding, patience and hope, they will see our children through the light we turn on. We filter their view.

What are we going to do? How will we behave?