Graphic designer - Luke Hayne
My name is Luke, I am 33 and I am on the autism spectrum. I am, what they might class, as having Asperger’s. I was 90% selectively non-verbal up until the age of 7yrs, I then became verbal for a year before regressing back to 90% selectively non-verbal state for another 2 years until I reached the age of 10 years old. Despite being classed as High Functioning, I still live with tough challenges the same as many others on the spectrum. When my anxiety increases caused by environmental factors, my sensory issues will increase from moderate to a severe, I can regress back to non-verbal states that can last for anything between minutes /hours /days /weeks /months and on occasions even longer. Meltdowns, concentration and interest are also variable factors. There are many things that can cause increased anxiety such as, loud and busy environments, temperature, textures of food and cloths, a thought that doesn’t sit right in my head, being made to do things that are discomforting to me, trying to keep a conversation going, eye contact, body contact, memory-recall and many more. I have developed many ways to reduce increased anxieties thus reducing sensory issues, meltdowns and non-verbal sates. Most of these techniques are based on removing myself from the situation/area that is causing the increase in anxiety and finding a cool calm quiet place to retreat in order for me to decompress. Our minds are like a rechargeable battery in ways, we have a limited capacity of energy, if our minds are flooded with too much information or sensory stimulation, the energy will be spent much sooner, which causes the increase in anxiety, so therefore, a place to decompress and recharge can be a necessity.
When I was at school, I really struggled dealing with communication, social ruling/structure and un-tailored education that was provided. I was undiagnosed throughout my childhood because autism was never really understood back then. I was unofficially diagnosed at the age of 24 and officially diagnosed at the age of 32. Growing up through school and being undiagnosed was very difficult, most of the teachers believed I was a lost cause and couldn’t see my potential. I remember some of them talking between themselves calling me the “R” word many times and how they were going to deal with me alongside many other things that hurt me. I was also bullied and exploited throughout for being different, not being able to communicate efficiently and not taking an interest or understanding games and social dynamics made me an easy target. I have been stamped on, kicked, punched and called all types of horrid names more times than I care to remember. I was bullied for being different in-which compounded a damaging idea within my mind.
Because of the bullying and all the horrid nasty names, and even what the teachers would say. I grew up believing all those things were true and that they are doing this because I am broken, I thought I must deserve it for not being like them. As a result, I absolutely hated myself for many years, self harm and many near misses with suicidal tendencies had been a big factor throughout my life. I am happy to say I am no longer ashamed of myself, my differences or my quirks. I have come to realise that I was never broken, it was other people’s inabilities to see beyond my exterior, that was really broken. I am a reasonably intelligent and creative person, some have said exceptional in the fields I take an interest in. I have defined the people who made me believe there was no hope for me, they said I am broken, they said I would go nowhere. But yet it turns out I have a great capacity to learn, understand and create.
When I hear “Cure Autism” it can make me feel sick and it can regress my mind back to the bad memories of me feeling broken. The term cure autism insinuates a suggestion that we are broken or somehow damaged goods. This suggestion is not only damaging for me and many others like me, but it is also potentially damaging for the next generation. I would never want any person to grow up believing they are broken like I did, it affected me deeply and it almost took my life on many occasions as it has so many others in the past.
Instead of trying to change a person in the search of a cure, I would suggest truly accepting your child deep in your heart for the benefit of yourself and for the child. When a person accepts themselves and others for who they are, that is when we can start to gain a true understanding. Look past the meltdowns, looks past the lack of eye contact, look past the exterior. Try to see the world through your child’s eyes, enter their world, which is the same as yours, only from a different angle. You will start to see their quirks, you will start to understand their language; what makes them smile, what makes them scream, you will learn the best way to calm your child down and you will learn to develop ways to minimise their anxiety. You will discover fun and exciting ways to teach the child, you will discover hidden talents that may have otherwise been overlooked. Instead of searching for a cure, that is not only damaging psychologically, but physically as well, I would suggest focusing on trying to find ways to help reduce anxieties, meltdowns, sensory overloads, and help find ways to develop and teach key skills. Help us find ways to help alleviate the more challenging symptoms and help us to find ways of becoming more independent and focused. I ask you to help us and not to try and cure us, because to cure us means to change the very thing that makes us who we are.
I am not doubting any parent who may feel overwhelmed and who may be struggling, but the cure path will only lead to disappointment and possibly resentment for you and the child. I acknowledge and understand your frustrations and struggles. But honestly and with my hand on my heart, when you can see beyond the exterior and fully accept your child for who they are, then this will open so many doors leading to happiness and insight in which could have never be opened if one were in pursuit of a cure.
This so called miracle cure (CD/MMS) is an extremely dangerous and damaging compound. I am a bit of a science geek myself, and I know how dangerous this lethal cocktail is. It is a product that is advertised with false and misleading claims, it is scientifically and medically disproven to work and it is also scientifically and medically proven to cause damage to the child which is why it is banned in so many countries. I have spoken with some parents who have tried using this dangerous cocktail, each and
every one of them have had really bad experiences. This so called cure can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhoea, blistering of the throat, stomach and various other nasty places. It can also cause ulcers in which can cause death, can effect the immune system, cause nausea, the list is endless. I desperately ask you to please reconsider, do not use this harmful cocktail, please share this page and try to educate others who maybe considering CD/MMS as an option. It breaks my heart knowing that there are parents who are struggling, but it breaks my heart more knowing that children are having to endure such pain through the means of administered poisons in search of a phantom cure.
This is my Autism Artist Advocacy page, feel free to check us out
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