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Electro-Shock Therapy is Used to 'Fix' Some Symptoms of Autism

by Brad Ludwig

Medical science is truly amazing. We have reprogrammed e.coli bacteria to attack other hard to treat bacterial infections. There are other times that I am truly frightened by medical science. Using electric current to fix the brain feels so barbaric to me.

Electroshock Therapy device

By Paul Hermans (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 

Who am I to come to this conclusion? I’m the son of someone who was given electro-shock therapy to help treat her bipolar disorder. She claims it helped her help level out her highs and lows, for periods of time. I can tell you that it robbed her of her memories. I have vivid memories of important childhood events that are lost forever to her.

While I appreciate the fact that the writer of the article states that “the children do not lose all of their memories”. That’s not really comforting. A young life hasn't accumulated a lot of memories. From a certain standpoint, there is less to lose.

Self-Injurious Behavior can be frightening to witness. Doubly so, when it’s your child engaging in it. Alex does this but only when he is really angry or thoroughly frustrated. I’m certain that parents of children, that have more frequent episodes of SIB, would embrace finding a way to help their child.

I won't go into the thought process of 'fixing' a child. The word fix is only used about something that is broken. Our children are not broken. They are betrayed by portions of the brain that control movement, help regulate emotions and social interactions.

The article mentions catatonia. I've seen a number of interviews children who have mentioned that when they have moments of 'flapping' or stimming, they are unable to stop. Their brains tell them to move and they have to move. They are mentally detached from that movement.

As parents, we have choices that we need to make about the well being of our children. Is this right for you and your child? Only you can answer it. Make sure that you gather as much information as you can before you pursue anything. There are a lot of ‘snake oil salesmen’ in the world who play to our fears and our desires to make our autistic children's lives better.