Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sense of urgency

There is an article today about the chelation treatment, one of the treatments which we had tried several years ago on Huân. A treatment which I have to admit: not very pleasant. I still remember the times when Huân refused to take that awful smell medication, and as a parent I tried to make him drink it believing that it would cure him.

Like any parents of autistic children, we are willing to try everything, every treatment which promises to make our child better. We even try unproven treatments. There is a sense of urgency that if we do not try, we fail; as in the same vein with if we do not buy a lottery ticket, we will never win. Sure, there is another factor which contributes to that urgency: older autistic kids are less likely to recover, thus the term: early intervention! Would you believe that there are more than 300 "unproven" autism treatments? The government does not have a clue about this disorder, so very so-called "doctors", "therapists", "consultants" out there are doing their best to reap in the money. They come up with some "theories" and develop a treatment around those theories. Each treatment is not cheap. Thousands, tenth of thousands for different kinds of treatments. Every treatment claims itself to be the "right" one! Each has testimonies from parents to back its claims. However, none of them dare to claim even more than 75% successful rate. Sometimes I wonder, how could a third world country parents with an autistic kid can afford even the cheapest treatment?

In the mids of this vicious cycle, parents are more likely one on top then the autistic children in the list of victims. The parents are the one who have to come up with the money to pay for any of the treatments, then they also have to select which treatments to test on their own child. That is one of the decisions any parents would hate to make! You see, if you make a wrong one, then you have to live with it for the rest of your already miserable life. With that being said, I now admire the courage of those parents, who had made those difficult decisions while fully understand of the consequence. They made those decisions based on a single hope of making their children better.

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