I would like to start this blog post with a disclaimer. We don’t definitively know what causes Autism. There are a wide variety of theories out there but today I’m sharing my thoughts on this topic from my own experience. If yours is different, congratulations! Before reading this post you should know I have a long history of forming my own opinions. I am happy to listen to your opinion, and I’m perfectly capable of having a conversation about our differing opinions without childish name-calling and angry words.
A lot of people ask me if I would have done anything differently. How could I possibly do anything different when I have no idea what caused Taylor to have autism? I don’t mind when people ask me questions about Taylor and/or autism, but I do mind when people ask questions with opinions already formed that differ so greatly from mine and they want to argue or be hateful. This hasn’t happened very many times but nearly every time it does happen, it relates to the great vaccine debate.
Let’s assume for a second vaccines do cause autism. I would still choose to vaccinate Taylor. Are you honestly telling me you would rather your child be dead than be autistic? That’s actually hurtful and sad. It says a lot about the way people in this country feel about individuals with disabilities. You are making an assumption Taylor isn’t the happiest little girl in the world. You are making the assumption she doesn’t have the chance at an amazing life if she has autism. You are wrong. I would agree with you, but then we would both be wrong. I do not like to be wrong.
For some reason, when people hear my daughter has autism they automatically assume I am anti-vaccine. You should know I am very pro-vaccine. I do not believe there is any way vaccines could have caused my daughter to have autism. She had low muscle tone that became evident months after bringing her home from the hospital. I would argue that the vaccines that people believe cause autism aren’t administered until much later. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE RISING RATES OF AUTISM???? Do you know I actually see that as a good thing? Obviously, I’m not happy kids have autism!! I think the rates of autism are rising because more kids are being diagnosed with autism and therefore getting earlier interventions. The earlier kids receive interventions the better the outcomes will be. This is a good thing.
I have no idea what causes autism. It is likely a variety of things and not just one specific thing. For this reason, I don’t think we will ever know exactly what causes autism. I actually think it is more of a catch all diagnosis for people who exhibit certain behaviors but do not meet the diagnostic criteria for things that have specific test markers. I also believe this is why people say if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism. They are all so different from one another.
I definitely think continued research is important. I hope in 50 years we have more information and more people with autism are getting all the help they need. I also hope in 50 years we are more understanding of people with disabilities and accept them into society as our equals.
That’s it for today!