I believe that in terms of autism and autistic research, the term “cure” is unnecessary and misleading. Although it is understood within the community to carry a multitude of meanings and personalized outcomes, it also creates unrealistic and insensitive expectations for a return to “normalcy” rather than an acceptance and understanding of autism as an diversity in the human form. Using a word like “cure” automatically denotes the disorder as a detestable disease.
While there are several areas on the spectrum where an autist might fall, the movement along the spectrum is relatively rare. Even when an autist does improve in areas like speech or personal contact, it does not mean that they are fully “cured” in the sense that their brain has reverted to a neuro-typical pattern. Those who fight for a cure may be fighting an impossible battle, and in fighting, they are simultaneously hurting the people they are trying to help. Pushing to cure someone with autism immediately makes them think that there is something horribly wrong with them–which could mentally harm them more than the actual neurological disorder.
I disagree with the idea of a “cure” in an autism debate. Perhaps the idea of a cure is what needs to be changed.