She glances at the ads above her head. The one above her shows a picture of smiling children, some with dark skin and some with light skin. One holds a ball. The ad comes from Bloorview Kids Rehab and shows a blue infinity symbol. It states that it is seeking kids aged 10-17 with Autism or Aspergers Syndrome for participation in treatment to study the effects of Oxytocin to reduce Autism symptoms.
Coupled with a silent sigh is a raised curiosity.
The train’s speakers chime and steel doors slide open. The ad walks her frontal lobe as she steps off and heads up the stairs. That is, until the passenger runs to catch her bus.
I first saw the ad in December. A second time occurred either this month or in the last. I suspect a third time this Friday a few seats away from me. About a year after I studied Oxytocin (and was eventually tested on it, yet not before finishing the final chapter), I discovered that Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone,” and along with its role in breastfeeding, is claimed to improved affection and trust. Some sources state that those with Autism produce less Oxytocin and research studies suggest administering oxytocin through nasal sprays to improve trust and social interaction and decrease repetitive behaviours.
Why should we, those on the spectrum be drug targets, though?
Many on the spectrum are non-verbal. Many don’t find another’s cornea important. Some dislike hugs. Some are wary to trust. Some take a while to make friends.
Many on the spectrum have repetitive behaviours. Some flap their arms. I stutter sometimes, especially if I’m excited or nervous. Some focus with the attention of a White House security guard on what they’re doing.
There is nothing wrong with this. It is a myth that those on the spectrum cannot show affection. As I mentioned in About, studies have shown that those on the spectrum have more empathy than your average person. Maybe those that are non-verbal will never say “I love you” to someone yet their actions can show it. Maybe a person doesn’t want to hug yet hugs were never the only method of being kind. What makes it right to put down a person who does not look at you in your eye but is genuine? As for repetitive behaviours, sometimes they make a person with Autism whom they are. Furthermore, the ability to focus on specific topics doubles as a strength to those on the spectrum for they can excel in their passions. What gives the right to put down a person with such ability?
Just as there are no symptoms of MBA ambition to relieve in Bachelor of Commerce graduates, just as there are no symptoms of wanting dinner to relieve in a person who hasn’t eaten in a few hours and sees a Tim Hortons, there are no symptoms of Autism or Aspergers Syndrome to relieve in those on the spectrum.
|Yonge-University-Spadina Handlebars (Taken from|