I Don't Care What Causes Autism


boy on swing
What causes autism?
The latest "This is related to autism" study really struck a nerve with me. You know, the one the other day that found that babies born close together have a higher risk of autism? Normally, I read the articles and think, "Hmm. Okay. That's interesting." And then put it out of my mind and forget it.

Forget it? Yes. Because until they come up with more definitive links, I'm not going to worry my pretty little head about it. Mostly because I don't really give a rats arse what causes autism.

Was that harsh? I'm not sorry. It's true. I don't care. And I live it each and every day with my two sons. One is fairly high-functioning and we mostly deal with anxiety, sensory issues and lack of eye contact (Okay, he has social difficulties, too. But he's happy). I have one that is just about as severe as you can get, complete with toileting issues, sleep issues, self-injurious behavior and being non-verbal. I've had feces and urine in every room in my house. We've had to replace every piece of furniture because he either breaks it, bites through the fabric or pukes/pees on it. Our walls have holes in them. Nothing survives here long.

And I still don't care what causes autism.

See, there are constantly studies going on linking autism to everything to what color hair you have to your shoe size when you give birth. I just made that up, but seriously, some of these studies are REALLY REACHING HERE. While I'm pleased they do so much research I also take it all with a grain of salt. Some sample sizes are smaller (or larger) than others. Sometimes data is fabricated. And just because a study shows a possible link or shows that they haven't found a conclusive link, doesn't mean there is or isn't a link. Confused? Most people are. One thing is certain: We still don't know what causes it. And more research needs to be done. I, for one, wish they'd stop rushing every freaking correlation straight to the media. And don't get me started on the Internets, mmkay?

Let's look at some of the things that have been blamed, shall we?

OH NOES! I'm not trying to make a joke out of this (because, it is serious. I guess), but can you see why parents are confused and upset? Every five minutes we're finding out that something else we did, or didn't do, caused our child's (children's) autism.  And new parents? Heck, if I was pregnant or planning a baby right now, I'd be scared to death. I don't blame them. I still get questions from well-meaning relatives about what I did to cause my kid to be the way he is. You know, because it's all my fault. Maybe I was a refrigerator mother? Talk about feeling guilty. (To be fair, there are a few genetic causes of autism such as Fragile X or Rett's).

Look, we all want what is best for our kids. We want them to be healthy and happy. And, while I don't go around telling folks, "It's great having autistic kids! Get some! They're awesome!" I do tell them that they are awesome and our life is a life worth living. There are no guarantees in life and you have to make the best of what you're given. I view autism the same way. No one ever said it would be easy. But we're fulfilled and we're happy.

Until they come out and say, "We've got it! It's this thing right here!" I will remain skeptical. I'm just going to go through life as I always do, focusing on my sons and their well-being. I'm not holding my breath, however, because the cause/cure thing is a long way off. If it ever comes.

Do you feel like I feel? Are you sick of all these studies that really don't help?


Image via Marj Hatzell

behavior, in the news, special needs, autism


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Peace... PeaceInJesus

i am curious to know if your sons have been vaccinated? I am doing research on vaccinated verses unvaccinated children and so far in my studies, i have not found any unvaccinated children with autism. I pray you are not offended by my question, but seriously i have found in my studies and they have been extensive, this the case.. Thank you in advance. Your attitude is very commendable. Thank you for sharing~

nonmember avatar kalmmom

I both commend and agree with your attitude!!
I have a son who is moderately mentally challenged and I do know the root cause for his issues, all knowing really does is well, nothing. He is who he is regardless of how he got there, I love him and that's all that matters.

thedg... thedgoddess

Yes, they are both vaccinated. However, I delayed the vaccinations in question (because I gave into fear mongering) and guess what? STILL AUTISTIC.

Also, I have many, many friends who do not vaccinate AT ALL that have autistic children.

You have to be careful with research. Sometimes they find a correlation accidentally but it's only a correlation. It doesn't prove a cause or a cure. Just because there was a correlation about Irish Twins doesn't mean that it causes or increases your chances of autism. I can give you HUNDREDS of examples of women with babies less than a year apart that are NOT autistic. Just come and visit Irish Catholic town here!

RanaA... RanaAurora

There are many, many unvaccinated children with autism. Like she says as well, correlation does not equal causation.

Marj, I can only imagine how it must feel for every thought that crosses someone's mind to end up being "news" and then of course, everyone goes, "Hey Marj, did you see this?"

thedg... thedgoddess

HA!  Yes, I got about 100 emails about this one. You know, because I don't have a computer or tv, don't read the news and aren't subscribing to hundreds of autism websites.

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez

LOVED this article - and I totally agree with every single word. Because I don't care. Finding out the cause, won't do me any good now. I feel like that time and energy should be dedicated to something called - education and better public school systems that can teach our children.

David Taylor

Tomorrow I'm going to visit a friend just diagnosed with cancer. Think I should say, "I don't care what causes cancer"?

Instead of making a joke out of this and throwing up your hands melodramatically, my recommendation would be to spend less time on social media sites and more time studying bio-medical treatments.

David Taylor

@RanaAurora who wrote: "There are many, many unvaccinated children with autism."

How many? Where is the study counting them? There isn't one. We've been clamoring for a vaccinated v. unvaccinated study for years. The cost is about $12 million--one day's profits for Big Pharma. All of the studies trotted out "disproving" the vaccine-autism link are the cheapest kind: epidemiological, which can only show association, never cause. The 100s of medical studies of biological cause implicate vaccines as major environmental contributors to today's epidemic of autism, which you probably don't believe is happening.

thedg... thedgoddess

Correlation is not causation. This is no joke, as I pointed out, I live and breathe it every moment of every day. There's obviously something causing it. I just don't believe it's living near a freeway, vaccinating my kid or watching television.

Now, if I delayed vaccines, explain to me how they are still autistic?

nonmember avatar Super Mom Jess

I also don't care about all of these stupid studies. I don't know the cause of my son's autism and even if I did it wouldn't change him. And as tough as his behavior is sometimes I think he has it right and we have it all wrong. He sure does have the "living free" thing down to a science. :)

I don't think vaccines are necessarily the cause but in my research I was appalled to find out what is actually in the shots (formaldehyde, pesticides, antifreeze, aluminum, mercury) -- these ingredients are knows to damage organs and/or cause cancer. So there may be a link between getting injected with toxins and that affecting one's health.

1-10 of 82 comments 12345 Last