The Four Kingdoms of Autism

There have been some misconceptions about Autism with some believing it is linked to vaccines while others argue that it is not a disorder but a unique gift that may result in exceptional abilities. The reason for this confusion likely stems from the fact that Autism is an Umbrella or rather a spectrum.

An Autism diagnosis  can include a a child who struggle with communication to adults excelling in computer science at esteemed universities and even middle aged parents who struggle with social interactions in the office. Therefore it is more precise to label it as “Autism spectrum”, than a defined condition.

The problem 

The challenge is not with Autism itself but with the lack of unanimous agreement on what causes Autism and how to approach it. In fact there are four categories that people have divided themselves into.

The first Category is the medical perspective. Doctors view Autism as a neurological disorder that can be diagnosed, treated, and cured. To a doctor, Autism is just like any other disease, such as cancer or heart disease. They focus on finding biomarkers to aid in diagnosis and identifying specific molecular targets for drug therapies. However, this perspective has been rivaled by people in the second category.

The second category doesn’t view Autism as an Illness that needs to be cured but rather as a difference in neurology. They are Self-advocates with Autism, and they view it as a part of their identity. They believe that the diversity of human experience should be accepted and celebrated instead of normalized and eradicated.

They also believe Autism has unique strengths and gifts that can offer innovative solutions to societal problems. They strongly advocate for “nothing about us without us” and demand social inclusion and acceptance.

Third and Fourth Category 

The third category believes that Vaccines and environmental factors cause Autism. They believe that the sudden rise in Autism prevalence is due to toxins present in our environment, such as chemicals and heavy metals. This category advocates for identifying the root cause of Autism and finding ways to prevent it rather than treating or accepting it.

The fourth category views Autism as a disability that needs support and accommodation and not a curable disorder. This perspective aligns with the language of diversity and identity, where individuals with Autism are not seen as ill or in need of a cure but rather as a unique part of our society that should be embraced and accommodated. 

Who is Right?

So who’s right and who’s wrong? The most accurate answer is that there is no one right or wrong perspective on Autism. Each category offers a different lens through which we can understand and approach Autism.

Researchers are doing their part by studying and analyzing the various factors that may contribute to Autism; special educators and medics, all therapist are doing their best to bring back the lost words and abilities of Autistic children. That way, some are even able to go to school and score better grades. The neurodiversity group is doing their best to fight for inclusion – which actually is good.

The environmentalist are doing their best to push for a clean and safe environment for everyone.

What is clear here is that each and every perspective has its value, and there’s no reason to clash them with each other. Instead, we should work together and learn from one another to address Autism in a holistic manner.

Treatment and Support

As Autism research and support efforts continue to grow, our team at Illinois Autism Center remains committed to providing top-quality ABA therapy services for children with Autism and other developmental challenges. For further details and additional resources, please refer to the following page.