“Something is better than nothing!”—the rallying cry of defenders of autism therapies, however harmful, quackery-based, abusive, or senseless they may be. The worst treatment plan is infinitely better than no treatment plan at all, isn’t it? Who are we to criticize parents who give their children bleach enemas, chemically castrate them, chemically and physically restrain them, or torture them with electrocution? The real enemies here, the real bad parents, are those selfish, lazy, neglectful wretches who don’t do anything at all to treat their autistic children. And obviously, the more time, energy, money, and peace of mind a treatment plan extracts from a parent, the more selfless and dedicated the parent must be, and the more the child must be getting helped.
Neurodiversity advocates may bristle at this and try to argue with the underlying reasoning (“Something isn’t necessarily better than nothing! Some somethings are actively worse!” or “Acceptance isn’t ‘doing nothing’ anyway; it’s not like we’re tethering our kids in the backyard and periodically throwing down feed!”), but the arguments don’t rise to their full potential. We’ve been put on the defensive. The distinct implication (or sometimes overt allegation) of selfishness on our part has been introduced. Getting The Help They Need is the established gold standard of parenting, and by most objective measures, we fall short. Maybe “acceptance” is just the easy way out. Maybe the real reason we aren’t using full-time behavior modification, colon cleanses, and the newest pharmaceuticals is because we can’t be bothered. Maybe we just don’t have the guts to be warrior moms.
Clearly, a new approach is needed.
I wrote this post satirically mocking quack and placebo autism treatments. But I may have been wrong to do so. Instead of ridiculing the concept, perhaps we should be taking advantage of it. We need an intensive, expensive, stressful, backbreaking treatment regimen of our own. So I present:
The Official, One-Of-A-Kind Unlicensed Uncertified Adkyriolexy Autism-And-Other-Oddities Treatment System, guaranteed to guide your child to happy, healthy, productive adulthood or your money back.
Unguided Independent Object-Based Exploration: Several hours daily
Allow the patient to move freely in an area as he explores and manipulates objects of his choosing (whether objects designed for this purpose, i.e., “toys,” or appropriated from other purposes, such as cardboard boxes and cookware). Outside interference is not necessary.
Outdoor Oxygen-Based Exploration and Exercise Regimen: Several times weekly
Bring the patient to a secure outdoor area, such as outdoor space on your own property or a public park designed for such therapeutic purposes. Allow the patient to freely roam the area as he chooses, or to utilize existing therapy equipment such as swings and slides. Provide plenty of hydrogen hydroxide for medicinal purposes. Outside interference is not necessary, except when needed to mediate a physical altercation between the patient and another patient receiving therapy.
Domestic-Based Real-World Adulthood Modeling and Training Regimen: Daily as needed
Within your home, perform domestic tasks such as cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, and vacuuming. Allow the patient to watch you do these tasks and learn by observation. As your patient progresses in functionality, you can enlist your patient’s help in managing these tasks (to achieve this purpose, it is permissible to utilize
bribes Applied Behavioral Positive Reinforcement Systems). Eventually, your patient will become functional enough to achieve these domestic tasks independently.
Applied Engagement of Electronic-Based Systems: As needed or desired
Allow the patient to explore an electronic medium such as a personal computer or video game console. Many patients are easily engaged by electronic media and willingly spend hours learning academic content from educational games, improving eye-hand coordination, contemplating the consequences of various courses of action, imagining alternate realities, developing social rapport with other players, and refraining from irritating their parents.
Non-Domestic-Based Real-World Adulthood Modeling and Training Regimen: Several times weekly
Allow the patient to accompany you as you perform various tasks of adult responsibility outside your home, such as grocery shopping, shipping packages, banking business, medical appointments, and the like. The patient will observe the steps needed to fulfill adult responsibilities, experience a world outside his home, and practice valuable life skills such as standing in line. For many patients, this form of therapy is also a powerful exercise for the lungs.
Medication: 8 full doses of Hydrogen Hydroxide daily
May be combined with other substances, such as fruit extract, as desired.
So you see, neurodiversity-supporting parents, that this regimen is every bit as rigorous and demanding as any established treatment program. The next time a Warrior Mom suggests that neurodiversity parents are too lazy, neglectful, or self-pitying to adhere to a therapy regimen, or the next time you feel excluded by an assumption that “autism parenting” means a schedule filled with wall-to-wall doctors’ and therapists’ appointments, feel self-consciously defensive no more! Simply excuse yourself—it’s time for your patient’s Non-Domestic-Based Real-World Adulthood Modeling and Training Regimen.