Of the assignments we had to view for this class, the youtube video was the story that impacted me the most. Unlike the two readings, the video detailed the entire journey Bianca’s father experienced as a parent of an autistic child, then demonstrates his resolve to do whatever it takes to give her the best life possible. I think this is the desire any parent has (or at least should have) for their child. This was the part of the assignment I did first, and it gave me hope for how much parents love their children and want the best for them.
Then I read Defining Curebie-ism, which definitely changed my view of what parents of autistic children and to what lengths they are willing to go to “help” their child. This was not made clear in any of the readings, but I wonder if the so-called curbies are generally parents of severely autistic children, the ones that cannot speak or interact in any way, and if the other end of the autistic spectrum correlates with the other end of parental response. Personally, I think it would be easier to view autism as a “demonic foe that must be defeated at all costs” if my child could not interact with me normally because of it. However, this is where the problem arises: not knowing where the disability ends and where the child begins. As the post later states, the parents will sometimes blame their child for their financial ruin or familial strain, and some will even go as far as fantasizing about killing their child. They are no longer concerned about curing a disease, but just want to be done with the problem in its entirety.
This entire problem emerges from a single misconception, that of the cure. But is there a way to change what the public understands about a cure to autism when they already have such a strong image of its possibility? I suppose just general education will get the message across – this is where disability studies comes in handy! And although it might be a slow and difficult process, I’m afraid that may be the only option to alleviate the mentality that autism is a problem that needs to be solved.