Causes and Cures for Autism, and the Neurotic Parent

daily dose

Image by veo_ via Flickr

Before I knew my son had Autism, the only cause I had heard of, was vaccinations. But since then I have heard a wide and ever-growing list of causes – from vinyl floors, to jaundice, to bad parenting. Just about anything and everything causes Autism, even the rain! If desperate parents were trying to avoid all these factors – and as a parent of one of these very difficult children I can understand and have felt that desperation – you’d end up quite neurotic. And in a cruel twist, even that would then be blamed for the Autism. If it wasn’t so soul-destroying, it would be funny.

On the flip side of the coin you get all the things that you should and shouldn’t be doing now, so that you can cure your child’s Autism! This has a huge range too – from chelation, to foods to give your child (like Omega-3), foods to not give your child (like gluten) and even god makes an appearance as a cure.

After meeting families who had a specific identifiable gene which caused the Autism in their children, and extensive personal research, and conversations with my son’s developmental pediatrician, I don’t get emotionally carried away by each new find on what I should and shouldn’t have done or be doing. I recognise the desperation in the parents as a normal initial reaction to the diagnosis. I recognise the money-making ventures of the latest cures for what they are. Each new causation or miracle cure gets my attention of course, how can they not, but I can’t let my parenting be paralysed by it. I’m quite neurotic enough already (as proven by my Autistic son of course).

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