There has been a recent explosion of theories regarding how autism develops. Frankly, I am finding the (research), and I use this term quite loosely shocking. The most mind-blowing factor of said research is that 75 percent of it points to autistic children’s mothers.
Parents of children on the autism spectrum already possess shaky self esteem without adding the blame game to their life. This merely reinforces the questions and fears that they mull around in their mind without reinforcement from the public.
Special needs parents are a vulnerable population. Like every other parent in society they seek to provide the best life possible for their children. They seek to do anything within their power to help their children thrive and live happy lives with as much of a semblance of normalcy and independence as will be feasibly possible.
As the parent to an adult son with Asperger’s. I take great offense to the recent speculation regarding the development of autism. In my opinion some are down right ludicrous. Some of the oddest are linked to mothers. Way to go society. We don’t already possess enough personal responsibility for the health and welfare of our children before hearing these ridiculous claims?
Children that are not spaced apart in age sufficiently. Birth order, having children at an advanced age, possessing specific antibodies, children born in the summer, gestation and fetal cells that are growing in the mothers womb, (This is my favorite and most ludicrous. How else would any fetus develop? A barn perhaps? :-0) , induction of labor, living near loud areas such as a train track, passing negative genes on to our children via older fathers. (Yes dads, you are not immune from causing autism either) , eating the wrong foods, being depressed, being infected with a virus during pregnancy, not being an attentive parent and being unemotional, being an overly attentive parent, having a C-section, drinking bottled water, fumes from exhaust on vehicles and perhaps we should add simply breathing the air. (sarcasm here)
This list goes on but I have made my point. In light of all the speculation regarding autism and its roots, I will add my own list. This will merely emphasize how ludicrous many of these claims are.
I shall add a personal PARODY to the outrageous claims being stated lately. Do not eat a pepperoni pizza while watching upsetting news stories when there is a full moon outside when pregnant. The full moon is known to disturb human’s metabolic balance. Thus, contributing to the development of autism.
When taking young children outside for any reason, supply them with ear plugs. This will provide protection from everyday noises such as car engines, singing carolers during the holidays, loud voices such as the man at the supermarket who yells “clean up in aisle five over the intercom” and more. I could provide more confabulated claims but I am sure the reader gets my point.
These outrageous claims regarding how autism develops made by professionals is bordering on ridiculous. These claims are serving no purpose other then to reinforce parents veering towards going on an even larger guilt trip then they already are.
I would love to see professionals write some articles on how parents have assisted their autistic children to develop and grow beyond the original expectations that had been set forth by the autistic child’s development team.
In reality, when an individual has a family member on the spectrum. Parents, It is no fault of your own. Please do not heed the ridiculous claims running rampant. In my own personal experience I have not had to look far within my family tree to find other individuals affected by autism to some degree. I have met many individuals with autism that have a parent with Asperger’s which is a form of autism. Basically it is a genetic crapshoot and NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN PARENTS.
In fact, parents of special needs children are one of the most devoted groups of individuals around. They spend a fortune equivalent to a jumbo mortgage on a house to equip there children with therapeutic toys, therapy, special schools and more.
In closing, special needs parents, please commend yourself for the monumental amount of time that you expend on your special needs children. You give up jobs, free time, socializing, even date nights with spouses as specialized sitters who can care for autistic children are not only hard to find but chargeexorbinant fees as well that are out of the financial reach of many special needs parents. Celebrate what you do right for your kids. Do not focus on what you do wrong.
Please remember that many of these outlandish research studies regarding how autism occurs are done by individuals in white lab coats studying dependent and independent control groups. Many have never even interacted with autistic children on a regular social basis. Autism can not be Googled it has to be experienced. A research paper does not make one an expert on autism. Our special needs children are not specimens in a petri dish to be microscopically examined. They are thinking, feeling human beings just like the rest of neurotypical society.
To researchers, I leave you with this. Please be careful when presenting theories to the public. My bit of advice for you is combine your dependent and independent control group studies, longitudinal studies, nulls and more with observation of children and parents in the autism community. Observe them in natural settings like their homes. Spend a period of time sharing the special needs families day and evening with them in the child’s natural setting. Have dinner with the family etc.
And for society, this will provide a teachable moment for you.
I am a published author and focus on books pertaining to autism and Aspergers Syndrome. I have had special needs articles published in several magazines. I have been interviewed several times in print, on pod casts, and internet T.V. regarding the autism spectrum. I have presented autism workshops to staff, management teams, and parent groups. I offer tips on curriculum development and behavior modification within the classroom and through in-services. I am certified by the Department of Early Childhood Education as a lead preschool teacher, an infant and toddler teacher, and site coordinator qualified to manage school age programs. I have recently ventured into public speaking engagements to educate both parents and educators on autism and Aspergers Syndrome
I want my experiences and challenges to be used productively as a learning tool for other parents and for educators as well. When my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s a decade ago it was a foreign word among many parents and professionals alike. I fought for help never giving up. Through my books I wish to help parents feel like they do not walk in the dark, that they are not alone, empower them and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also want to educate society at large on the topic of the autism spectrum. I believe all parties involved need to work as a collaborative team in order to insure a special needs child’s Amazon.com at Mari Nosal : Please stop by my site at Amazon Books and check out my published books on autism aspergers special needs and more you like my articles, aside from being the parent of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome/ A.D.D and an educational professional, I am also a published author of many special needs and autism related books written to inspire and support parents, families, educators and society at large as well. Please stop by and check out my books on http://tinyurl.com/kdspqy9
Mari Nosal M.Ed. CECE