I read an article yesterday on the Today Show’s website about something called Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is described as sort of the anti-autism.
Where autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s, are marked by social awkwardness and shyness, Williams is the complete opposite. People with Williams are described as “having never met a stranger,” where those with autism tend to be more cautious around strangers (not always the case).
The article goes on to state that scientists have identified 25-28 genes (out of 30,000) in the brain that are responsible for causing Williams.
I read the article twice, just to make sure I could formulate and articulate an intelligent thought. My thought is that it is good that scientists search for causes to things like Williams and autism, but let’s not be so quick to hope for a cure. Cures should be for things like cancer. For autism, if a cause is ever definitively found, it should then be used to develop even more effective therapies, not a cure. It comes down to what Temple Grandin has expressed about the great innovations in our culture and that they are possibly attributable to someone with Asperger’s or autism. Let’s take a cautious approach in hoping to cure everything.