Abby · autism · confessions · crafts · Down syndrome

It’s Not Your Fault.

I’ve written about the absurdity of the so called “studies” that are finding the cause of autism in everything. They’re correlational studies (in one of my psychology courses, my professor made us all chant “Correlation Does Not Equal Causation!” over and over and over again). They don’t prove anything. I could go on and on at length as to why each of these studies are flawed or why they don’t really say anything more than we already know…but it really isn’t the message I want to share. And it’s boring. If you get nothing more out of my blog than this one stupid sentence, then I’ve done my job:

This is not your fault.

Casey’s autism is no more my fault than Abby’s Down syndrome. Researchers, the good ones, are continually finding evidence that autism is genetic. GENETIC GENETIC GENETIC. And even if it’s not, even if one day they decide that your child’s autism was caused by you drinking Mountain Dew during your first three trimesters of pregnancy (I did that on purpose), or whatever it is that your great aunt keeps posting to your facebook wall…guess what?

This is not your fault.

We as humans want answers. It makes us TERRIBLY uncomfortable to not know why things happen. It’s why so many people join the Anti-Vax Religion. Because even in the face of OVERWHELMING research, ANY answer is better than NO answer.  Because maybe knowing what caused it means that you have any damn control over it.

I know this because I’ve lived it. I was there once, too. I wanted it to be vaccines that caused his regression because that would mean that no longer vaccinating would prevent future regressions. When that didn’t pan out (again, research…) I kept looking along with the researchers to find whatever it was that I did to make Casey this way. Was it going to the dentist before I knew I was pregnant? How about the metal fillings in my mouth? Was it the Mountain Dew? I wanted answers.  I wanted control. With every step I took in that direction, I got another step away from the place I wanted so desperately to be: acceptance.

It comes down to this: If you had known that any of your actions would cause your child’s autism would you have willingly done it (please don’t make this into one of those “I love my child just the way they are pissing matches…this is not what I’m asking here…)? No?

This is not your fault.

When you can get past this, you can move on to bigger and better things. Acceptance is amazing. It doesn’t mean you’re okay with it all of the time, but it means that you understand that this is the way life was meant to be. And that it can be a really great life. Autism included. 

4 thoughts on “It’s Not Your Fault.

  1. I’m a bit late to the game, but I wanted to say thank you for your post. My oldest was diagnosed with Autism, and I’ve been trying to figure out what I did, where I went wrong, etc. Reading your post broke me down to tears-you said everything I needed to hear but had no one to tell me; my son is the only Autistic child in my family. I saved your post when I first read it, and have reread it many times in the last couple of weeks since I found it. At first I couldn’t think of what to say to it, but I think “Thank you, thank you, thank you” just about sums it up.

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