Once upon a time, the appendix was seen as a “useless” part of the body.
The only thing doctors / experts thought it did, was hanging around (literally), then become inflamed and possibly burst. It wasn’t well-understood, so it was seen as nothing more than a source of pain and discomfort. And it was best removed at the first opportunity, as far as doctors were concerned.
My father had his appendix out when he was a kid. I know a number of people in my paretns’ generation who had their appendix out.
Same with tonsils. They weren’t seen as serving any useful purpose, other than getting inflamed and painful. So, they were “best” removed.
My mother had her tonsils out, if I remember correctly.
Well, now we know that the appendix plays an important role in the immune system. It might even be the one safe haven for friendly bacteria in our systems which support gut health (and our immune systems). After a serious infection has passed, the healthy bacteria protected in our appendix can repopulate and pick up where they left off before. That’s useful. Especially if you want to recover from serious illness and continue to live a healthy life in the long term.
And the tonsils are now known to support our bodies in fighting off infection. They are our first line of defense against pathogens we eat, drink, or inhale. That’s useful, as well, especially considering all the stuff we can ingest and/or inhale.
But both of these important parts of our bodies used to be removed summarily, at the first opportunity. Because people couldn’t see any use for them. And they seemed to create more trouble than they solved.
Now we know better.
It’s my hope that, in time, the very people who are advocating a “cure” for autism, as well as excising us from society by declaring us either incompetent or sub-human, will either come to their senses, or be overshadowed and eclipsed by those who know — and show — just what an integral part of our society autistic folks actually are… and always have been.