Autism cannot be cured – controversy erupts over televised story of boy who was “cured” through prayer
The Consultative Council on Autism has stressed that autism is not a disease and cannot be “cured”. This was stated in reaction to the TV programme Il-Verità’ transmitted on F Living Channel, during which the story of a boy who was allegedly “cured” of autism was broadcast.
The Council explained that autism is a lifelong neurological difference not something which one grows out of or which can be cured through prayer.
It added that although the behaviour can be managed through suitable support, this should never be substituted by a lack of willingness by society to understand and adapt itself to the particular needs of a person who has a disability.
The Council also appealed to the Broadcasting Authority to take the necessary steps on this issue, so that people with a disability can be represented on its board.
The programme led to a controversy on social media with tens of parents and professionals who work witch autistic children criticising the idea that autism can be cured.
The programme presenter, Phylisienne Brincat, denied that autism was portrayed as some kind of disease, however the message she wanted to convey was that miracles can happen.
Meanwhile, TVM has asked for the reaction of the Malta Broadcasting Authority but it has not yet replied.