So What Causes Autism?

10 01 2008

With recent reports indicating that Mercury isn’t linked to Autism– be it true or not– I’m grasping for causes that don’t point back to me.  Did my choices– environment, foods, spouse– cause my son to have Autism?

There are a number of theories– food allergies (wheat gluten, diary), genetic predisposition combined with environment are among the most popular besides Mercury. Could these children be our canaries? Is Autism caused by the environment?

A few years ago my husband read an article that claimed a link between older fathers and Autism. He was distraught for weeks blaming himself for the challenges our son faces. I haven’t heard this theory apart from that one article.

I know it’s important to find out what causes Autism so that future cases can be avoided but as I’m dealing with the disorder on a day to day basis, I must confess that I don’t know if I really want to know what causes it… what if it was something I did or didn’t do? Could I live with that guilt?  A long time ago– I believe in the 60s it was theorized that Autism was caused by “refrigerator mothers”. Can you imagine believing that something that you did or didn’t do caused your child to face these challenges?

An article I read recently looked at several causes for Autism and concluded, wisely, that those who live with this disorder should spend their time looking for treatments and let the medical profession figure out what causes it. 

I guess I need to get off the kick and spend my energy trying to figure out what works for J. He is an individual and not everything that works for others will work for him — visa-versa. He is my priority and he deserves my time.

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