(Okay, okay, there really isn’t a medical one.)
“I would have never guessed he had autism.”
“How long has he had autism?”
“Is he cured?”
I have talked with other parents a lot about these questions. They are a compliment mostly. If someone meets my son for the first time and can’t ‘tell’ he’s autistic that’s good, right? The whole goal since he was two years old was to provide intervention that would help him be successful in society.
Trying to explain to others though that he is STILL autistic is sometimes a slippery slope.
For example our family is watching the series ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ on Disney+. One of the main characters, Bucky (the title character, Winter Soldier), was a bad guy for a very long time because his brain became programmed to kill. In this series he’s a good guy, having had his brain re-programmed. But he’s still the Winter Soldier. That can’t be changed. (Sidenote for those of you reading this who are Avengers fans: You might say he is cured because he doesn’t respond to the code words that make him a killer, but as he says himself, it’s still a part of who he is.)
Back to the topic at hand. From a medical standpoint, there is no cure for autism.
I found my best explanation of the “cure” for autism on this Mythbusters site.
“It is a neurological and developmental difference that cannot simply be cured with diets, drugs, or behavioral therapy. It is much too complex for that.”
What do we do? We get therapy and teach them behavioral techniques with the hope they can function in the world and socialize with their “typical” peers. So are they cured? No. They are their amazing, unique selves who want to be loved and accepted.