No Asperger’s cure exists. Asperger’s syndrome, like other autistic spectrum disorders, is a lifelong condition. Occupational therapy may help children with Asperger’s cope with typical, “normal” people. Medication may alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and aggression that often accompany Asperger’s syndrome. But there is no Asperger’s cure, in spite of what some Web sites would have you believe.
Type “Asperger’s cure” into a search engine, however, and you’ll generate thousands of search results (as of this writing googling “Asperger’s cure” generated 380,000 results). Many of these sites claim to offer an Asperger’s cure. Some are written by the parents of Aspie children, others by traditional or alternative medical professionals. Some claim that Asperger’s symptoms develop due to food sensitivities such as gluten intolerance. Other sites promote detoxification treatment or vitamin supplements. Some sincerely believe that they offer an effective Asperger’s treatment. More than a few are scams preying on the hopes of desperate parents.
Gluten Intolerance and Asperger’s
The difficulty in discovering an Asperger’s cure lies, in part, in how many unconventional Asperger’s treatments appear to work for small groups of Aspie children. The same difficulty can be seen in ADHD, autism, and many other conditions.
Take gluten intolerance and food sensitivity treatments as examples. Removing gluten, lactose (milk products), or other food groups from diet improves Asperger’s symptoms in some children. Food sensitivity treatment has been demonstrated as a viable Asperger’s treatment in large scale clinical trials, but enough evidence exists to suggest that—in some Aspies—dietary changes are a possible Asperger’s treatment.
Does this mean that an Asperger’s cure depends on diet? Probably not, for while a small percentage of Asperger’s children see some improvement in symptoms with dietary changes, the vast majority do not.
The same problem exists for vitamin supplement treatment, detoxification regimes and other unconventional Asperger’s treatments. If it comes right down to it, accepted Asperger’s treatments produce similar results: no one treatment works for all “Aspies” (a term many people with Asperger’s use to describe themselves.
Is there a Need for an Asperger’s Cure?
Some see the wide range of possible Asperger’s treatments as proof of how complex a condition Asperger’s syndrome is. They advocate trying a multi-layered treatment approach of Asperger’s symptoms, and argue that there are multiple Asperger’s causes.
Others, including many adult Aspies, question whether an Asperger’s “cure” is necessary. Their argument (and it is a compelling one) is that Asperger’s is not a disease but part of the normal range of human neurological variation. Aspie thought processes are very different from “Typs” (an term some Aspies use for people with typical neurological processes), but different does not mean abnormal or of lesser value.
Watching for Fake Asperger’s Cures
It’s important to be aware that many websites promote Asperger’s cures without proper medical backing or clinical support. Here’s a few warning signs that an online “Asperger’s cure” may not be all it claims:
Any Web site that claims to possess “the Asperger’s cure doctors don’t want you to know about” is automatically suspect. Who knew that the medical community is part of a vast conspiracy to keep effective treatment away from the public? This claim has been used to sell “cures” for almost any disease that lacks a definitive cure. It’s generally given as justification for a lack of clinical evidence.
Other Web sites offer a “guaranteed” Asperger’s cure. Oh really? Someone has uncovered an Asperger’s cure and it hasn’t been widely circulated in the media? This claim often goes hand in hand with the medical conspiracy theory.
Be very wary of Web sites that have multiple grammatical and spelling errors or practice hard sell sales tactics. These are often warning signs of scams. If the Web site owner is sleazy enough to offer a fake Asperger’s cure, he or she may also be willing to misuse customer’s information for fraud or identity theft.
Finally, be very suspicious of “miracle” cures that claim to cure multiple conditions. An ADHD / depression / GERD / bunion / Asperger’s cure has to be considered highly unlikely.