It is in our nature for the need to find a reason or an explanation as to why or how things happen.
It is usually in a parents nature to want to take responsibility and unnecessary blame for the things that happen to their children. Was it the glass of wine that I drank early in the pregnancy? Was it because of the way the birth planned out? Was it because an emergency Cesarean was needed to be done? Should I have persevered with breast feeding, even though it was not happening, instead of topping up with formula? And so on.
Autism is no different. As long as you're not living under a rock, you have probably read and heard of all the many theories as to why and how Autism occurs. Some of the theories are just down right ludicrous, some are not. There have been many research papers and books written on the subject. Some of the theories have even been disproven. They are still many scientists around the world doing hours of research into the genetics behind Autism, trying to locate whether or not there is a specific gene that is common between individuals with Autism.
We've never found the need to find out why L and O have Autism. We've never queried what happened or why it happened. We've never found the need to blame anyone or anything. But that is us.
We have accepted that Autism is part of our life. Autism is never going to go away. What is going to change is how L and O learn the skills to manage the various traits that they have.
I've had many people try, and I put the emphasis on try, to lecture me on immunisations and the supposed link to Autism. Yes, we do immunise and both of my little superheroes are up to date with their immunisations. The immunisations made no difference what so ever to either of my little superheroes.
L was a different baby from birth, he didn't change in any way after his immunisations.
O started to show traits over the last 12 months. O is following how Autism is typically described in girls - girls generally present Autism traits differently than boys. Girls are generally diagnosed at an older age. But thinking back to O as a baby and toddler, she was showing traits of Autism, they just didn't stand out like L's traits did.
The way that our Pediatrician explained it is that quite often children are diagnosed from 18 months onward, which is also after their 18 month year old needles. Some Autism traits can also be seen as developmental delays, so unless a child is presenting with severe Autism traits, an Autism diagnosis generally will not be done under 2 years. Hence the supposed connection between Autism and immunisations.
The way that I see it is that a babies brain is wired in utero. What changes after the child's birth is the memory wiring. The practice and experience wiring.
Through all the experiences, educational practice and outings that you did with your child, you have helped to lay new wiring in places where it may have been slim. You have helped to redirect brain traffic to important and helpful areas. You have helped your child to learn and practice new skills.
Do you want to know my theory on the development of Autism and the seemingly soaring rate?
I think that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the next step in our evolution and that ASD individuals will be the next better version of Neurotypicals!
The intelligence of an ASD person is, at times, massive and yet their social skills suffer.
ASD children are resilient from a very young age. They are special in the way that they face challenges and overcome them from such a young age.
ASD children and other special needs children face challenges that many Neurotypical children may not face until they hit adulthood. ASD children are strong eager to learn little superheroes from a very early age. You just have to go visit an Early Intervention Centre to see just how young some of these little superheroes are.
You have done your up most best as a parent. You loved, accepted, nurtured and raised your child to the best of your ability.
So take that god damn self judgement and guilt, throw them out a window and do not allow them to return. Yes I know it is hard, but please try.
You need to start allowing yourself to have a guilt free time as a parent.
You need to be proud of the fantastic job as a parent that you are doing.