Should you pay attention to autism-related studies?
When our son first began with autism services, he was only fifteen months old. We were scared and didn’t know what was happening to us, and to our child.
How did we respond as a family?
We decided to concentrate on our son. We focused only on him and what he needed at that time. We read a lot of books, but we didn’t tell most of the people in our lives what we were doing because we didn’t know HOW to explain autism.
We also didn’t ask why.
We didn’t research autism-related studies
Since that time, I have learned that a lot of families spend a considerable amount of energy on investigating WHY their child has autism.
We decided to not split our energy. In truth, we didn’t care at that time about HOW our son had autism.
Our son was more important to us as opposed to the investigation into the why and how. We didn’t do research and didn’t really read any studies.
We just focused on him and how to help him.
A few years later, I got curious. By this time, our son was older, in inclusion classes, and doing relatively well.
I began to wonder how it happened.
My husband and I were better educated by that time.
I began to really get “into autism.”
Besides informing people about our son’s autism as well as being a volunteer for autism-related event, every once in a while I would come across an autism-related study that discussed possible reasons for autism. I discovered that none of these studies gave any concrete results.
Which ones did I read?
One time, for example, I came across a study that looked at mothers who had to be induced into labor. The study suggested a higher prevalence for those babies to have autism.
Now, here’s one problem with studies and why you should take the one random study with a grain of salt. It’s one random study.
I read this study and said my son was not induced. Therefore, even though the study applies to some autistics out there, it does not apply to all autistics.
It did not apply to our situation.
Why or how do I think my son got autism?
Here’s my take on it…
I believe a baby is born “ready.” Then, if that child gets a “trigger,” then there is a high chance that some form of autism could develop.
The trigger can come in many forms; age of the parents or one parent, history in the family, or maybe something in the environment.
I don’t believe the MMR shots alone are the cause of autism. However, again citing the fact that there are exceptions, there may have been a few cases of the MMR shot possibly involving some kind of autism. I believe those cases are rare.
I do not believe the MMR shot applied to my son. The study about inducing a delivery did not apply nor did a few other studies I’ve read.
We still do not know exactly what caused our son’s autism. We may never know.
What should you do?
Investigate why your child got his/her autism when you feel the time is right.
I would advise watching how much energy you are taking away from your child in order to solve a problem that—in reality—won’t really help your child.
You cannot undo your child’s autism, you cannot go back in time.
The blame game
Is the blame-game all that important? Maybe your child got autism because, well, he was born ready and a trigger—one that was out of your control—meaning it just happened.
There is no one to blame.
Examine your own anger and ask yourself, is it worth it that you have to know why.
I wouldn’t change my son for anything. He has autism, but if he didn’t he’d be a completely different kid.
I love him exactly the way he is.
Yes, he has it “harder” than other kids his age, but maybe his struggles will make an even better person. He certainly has strengths that many of his peers don’t.
I don’t regret for one second how we handled our child’s autism.
I am not angry, but fairly sure how my son got autism. He just got it.
We deal with it everyday.
He’s awesome. Period.
And, that’s okay with me.
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