Nothing makes me more mad, than people who don't have Autistic kids telling me WHY my children are Autistic
Before I get into that, let me be blunt-
I think there are a multitude of environmental issues that probably carry some weight in a portion of children diagnosed with Autism, regardless of where they fall on the Spectrum. Whether it's things like smoking while you're pregnant, getting vaccines, having too much mercury in your blood, etc.
I also believe that a portion of children diagnosed with Autism come by it genetically.
I also believe that in some cases, leaps and bounds can be made regarding different diets.
All of that said, here's what my issue is right now.
My husband's cousin got married to a guy last summer who is very into "healthy living" in some ways. In other ways, to be blunt, he smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, and does recreational drugs. However, neither of them see those things as unhealthy living. She was the same until she got pregnant- I have no idea if she stopped smoking when she found out she was pregnant, but I know she stopped drinking and doing drugs.
They are both the sort of people who will lecture you on their beliefs in the way that they aren't out right telling you that you're wrong, but they're telling you that they are right. Whether it's about buying cheese at a grocery store (they're against buying food at standard grocery stores, as it's 100% processed- even fresh food- their words, not mind), or seeing specific types of doctors, or even going to a hospital.
Now that she's pregnant, they're delving into research on Autism, to try and limit the chances of the baby having it. They want a "normal" child (which irked me as well, because we ALL want a neurotypical child, but that doesn't mean our children aren't normal- it just means they're a little different, just as every person in the world is).
I finally just blocked them from my feed on Facebook today, because frankly, I can't keep seeing articles popping up into my feed about what causes Autism, and how they're going to avoid it.
For instance, in the past week, they've posted Op Ed articles about Autism and the link between the following topics:
How the Amish don't have Autism at all (this goes back to vaccines)
What bothers me the most, is that they don't even look up credible articles. They're reading opinion pieces, and calling them fact. In the few articles that even state a source, it goes back to other Opinion pieces that don't credit a source.
One article said that 90% of Amish people have never been vaccinated, which proves that Vaccines cause 100% of the Autism cases found in the world today.
She sited wikipedia as her source.
They have been posting this stuff for weeks now, and today, I finally got peeved off. I have ignored it, ignored it, ignored it. Today, I finally posted to one of their articles, "So, just wondering, since my daughter was 5 before she was ever vaccinated, what reason is there that she has Autism?"
He asked me if I was serious in asking, and I said I wanted his honest opinion on the matter as to what I did wrong to make my daughter the way she is.
At that point, I posted an update on my own FB page explaining that reading and agreeing with Op Ed pieces does not make you qualified to diagnose Autism, or give causes as to why people have it.
I followed it up with remarks as to why it's more highly diagnosed now than it was 20 years ago, and why it was more highly diagnosed 20 years ago than it was 100 years ago. I think all too often, people forget that when you are dealing with any sort of neurological disorder, there have been leaps and bounds made in recognizing, categorizing, and diagnosing them.
100 years ago, people did not have an Autism diagnosis. They were diagnosed as mentally retarded, and ran a high chance of being institutionalized for life.
20 years ago, Asperger's wasn't recognized as a diagnosis, and was often diagnosed as a variety of problems not on the Spectrum.
He did agree with both of those points, then went back to what I commented on his piece saying that he felt that my question was loaded, given my status update, and the tone of my questions.
I followed up with this:
Here's the thing, ********. I don't doubt that there are a lot of reasons as to why kids today are diagnosed with Autism. But, it's a hot topic. Parents of autistic children will hotly debate it with other parents of autistic children, because we all have our own opinions, and we all deal with it on a daily basis.
I have no issues with you coming up with your own thoughts regarding autism, but posting stuff like this constantly is sort of a slap in the face of parents who have to deal with it daily, who have done their own research, who have doctors behind them, teachers, and psychologists who have all dealt with it over the years.
You're going to have people like me who don't feel we need to hear blanket responses from people who are not dealing with it. If you are going to post stuff like this, do more research as to what the overall thoughts are, not just what some people think the causes are.
It's disrespectiful to the people who put the time in. I've spent over 2 years reading up on it, discussing it with doctors, discussing it with my childrens support staff, and figuring out what happened.
I have long since decided that in our case, it was a genetic issue that we had no control over, as many others have. There are different forms of Autism, and different levels. While some people find a common denominator as to what they think caused their child's Autism, the bottom line is that there is not a single test out there that can pin point a cause.
I respect that you want to do what you can to educate others on topics like this, but it really does involve more than reading and agreeing with an article. Any reputable article will have multiple sources, and will be more than a copy of someone elses hard work on the topic. It will give their own sources, not sources to other articles. It will quote actual published studies, and research materials.
Anyway, the whole thing just bothers me. It's no different than people telling us we just need to discipline our child better when they have a melt down.
I have no problem reading or hearing about ideas from people, but when those people have been looking into it for about 3 weeks, and think they know all of the things to avoid, then it becomes a hot mess.