The following blog is written by Yuval Levental, a reader and contributor to our blog site. At present Yuval, who is on the autism spectrum, completed a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and was interested in doing research on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). He will soon start a job in Information Technology. Yuval has previously written an essay at corticalchauvinism.com where he discussed his life, views on neurodiversity, and a couple of autism symptoms (https://corticalchauvinism.com/2015/01/14/visualizing-neurodiversity-breathing-for-treatment/).
I asked Yuval todescribe himself so that the reader would get to know him better. This is what he said: I am a person on the autism spectrum who advocates for treatment or a cure, because the evidence for autism as being positive is meaningless in most cases. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from ESIEE Paris. Through researching the cause of my autism, I have developed interests in physiology, cellular biology, and neuroscience. In the quest for a cure, I have successfully progressed by attempting to introduce more potassium and less sodium in my diet, and have recently undergone Botox which mitigated my symptoms. Additionally, I like to spread awareness of arguments against Neurodiversity through social media and Wikipedia. Other hobbies of mine include recreationally solving complex math puzzles, traveling, eating new foods, and learning about different cultures.
I went to a plastic surgeon in France while I lived there, but decided to move back to the United States. I went to Michigan Plastic Surgery (miplasticsurgery.com/) in East Lansing, Michigan to get a consultation. The doctor there said that the muscle on top of my nose was working too hard! This would potentially cause a lot of the autism symptoms I have. He said that to relieve the pressure, he would start by injecting Botox in the muscle area, which would weaken it by blocking neurotransmitters for three-four months.
On July 18, 2016, I had the Botox injection, which only lasted a couple minutes. The effects that followed it were really interesting.
I felt like a weight that was on top of my forehead was lifted off. I felt like my perception was more multidimensional, and that I could see around me at different angles. Additionally, I felt like there were a few hooks in the muscle region pulling me forward.
I noticed that I could speak more fluently, and didn’t feel “paralyzed” every few seconds like I did before. It was easier for me to plan into the future, but at the same time, feel more comfortable in the moment.
Before I fell asleep that night, I felt like there was something “empty” or “missing” in that region. The sleep that night was very gradual and relaxing. I am glad to say that I don’t feel that anymore, I feel the area but not as intensely as before the botox.
Picture of my face, July 19, 2016. Notice that the muscles at the top are less tense.
For the future: They have to do botox injections every four months for one year from July 18, 2016. Then, it will be determined if I need surgery.