This post is now available in the ‘Life with an Autistic Son’ ebook available to download from Amazon.
You’re not alone. My husband and I are asking each other similar questions particularly considering we have two on the spectrum and another with obvious traits. Rationally, my head says this is a pointless discussion but there’s another side of me that is intrigued because there is clearly a genetical tendency in my family which goes back generations.
I too have tried on all of those roles of culpability for my daughter’s ASD some of them fit, I had some bonding issues as a single mother (though now I believe it was brought about by the “colic” and sleep issues she had. Not her fault of course but it made motherhood more difficult than I’d ever prepared for.) I had pleurisy in late pregnancy and also had drugs, I got drunk befor I knew I was pregnant….the list goes on. I did not however, give her an MMR – i paid for singles.
It’s always been clear to me that her father has undiagnosed ASD, and the genetic test we had also points to this (they did not test me as they felt they’d found what they were looking for in his). However, even knowing this I feel also that I recognise many of the traits to varying degrees in myself. I’ve always been very socially awkward, I had a lot of sensory issues and mild learning difficulties as a child, have trouble with eye-contact, poor word retrieval, the list, again, goes on.
You are right, it’s futile. It could be any mix of these things or none at all, who knows? You could blow your mind thinking about it. None of it could have been planned for and avoided. The important thing is, he’s here and you love him and no amount of guilt you mix-up inside yourself is going to help him. It’s natural to go through this but i find that it’s better to put myself in check whenever my mind goes down that route after all, there’s enough worry and guilt over whether you doing right by them, spending enough time with them etc. Burden yourself no more with these un-changeable and unquantifiable issues. No matter if there is any truth behind any of them it is still NOT your fault.
The blame game. . . . We have all done it! I often spend so much time looking back I forget to enjoy the day and look forward. Thx for the thoughts in your post
Thanks for your post – interesting as usual. Yes I wonder who is to blame – I do not have a genetic link to my DS but I wonder about my poor diet during pregnancy etc. Can you get a test to tell – is there a way of telling if my DH carries an ASD gene? At the end of the day I love my DS but its difficult when my 2 older DD’s will have such different opportunities than him in life.
In my daughter’s case, as far as I’m aware, they found there was a missing piece of DNA “that could occur routinely in the general population” but it wasn’t conclusive. They found the same thing in her dad, however, it was all a bit odd because as we’re not together they couldn’t discuss it fully with me and because the father is an elusive character and doesn’t seem to be able to have a full detailed conversation about such issues (I think because he may be on the AS himself) I don’t know the exact answer.
I think because there are so many genetic variations and they cannot know them all they cannot say for sure that a particular variation is an absolute indication of Autism. I think if there are deletions (of DNA) or duplications it is more telling though I’m not sure whether they can diagnose from it.
I think they do MRI scan in the US for indications but I don’t think it is standard in this country or if they can determine exact pointers to diagnose from it. X
I love this post and as someone already said ‘we have all done it’, we now play the game but in a humorous way with each other and as you suggest adding in the positive stuff to compete over is also great too! You have inspired me to read more as I am entering the blogging world myself and have found this post very inspiring, keep it up cheers
This is a really lovely blog post. I don’t think there’s any point in parents trying to blame themselves for a child’s condition. You clearly look after him brilliantly and it is all the traits such as his reading skills and dance moves that make him who he is.
Your blog is an inspiration.
I thought I had commented on this before, but apparently not (or the computer stole it…!!). I also connect with what you’re saying here, and it’s so easy to throw blame around hoping it will somehow make everything better. Easy to see why so many relationships involving special needs children break down – there’s just so much added stress involved 😦
Think this has reminded me of an old post of yours which I also thought I had commented on – but can’t see it – Life with autistic sons?! I also empathise with that as my ASD girl has an older ‘NT’ daughter and lately we have been wondering about her too….
Your blog is so well put, thank you.
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