OK, this is my peeve of the day: thimerasol fascists.
When one is dealing with other parents of children with autism, you find a large pool of people who are depressed, in shock, in disbelief, scared, worried, exhausted (both physically and emotionally), angry (or as my son would insist, "furious"), and generally in not good shape. And those are the folks who have been dealing with this for a while- the people who are just getting into this with this diagnosis are in worse shape. You end up meeting a lot of people who insist that what happened to their child and what works for their child is what happened to and will work for your child. Unfortunately, some of these things are not useful for Joey, would be dangerous, or are simply bogus in the first place.
I can understand wanting to DO SOMETHING. That is one of my mechanisms for coping, too. When the doctors are telling you to try medicines, diets, shots, exercises, therapies... you try them. I can also understand wanting to share strategies that work for your child with other parents. That's very kind and helpful, and a compassion for other people. But I do not understand people who not only insist you do what they do, or believe what they believe, or experience what they experience, but get downright ugly about it when you don't.
The worst of these for today are the thimerasol fascists. These are the people who believe that thimerasol is to blame for autism. Thimerasol is a preservative that is/was used in vaccinations, and it contains a type of mercury that drug companies insist is harmless (as opposed to the kind that makes you Mad as a Hatter). Personally, I think anyone who thinks putting mercury into a child's system is a good idea is just plain nuts. Even if is was safe to do, most folks don't know there are different kinds of mercury, and the perception of danger alone would be enough for me to question its use. However, I seriously doubt it is safe. It is still used for flu vaccinations.
However, I knew thimerasol was bad news when I was pregnant. Joey has never had any. NEVER. NONE. He never had a flu shot, because he's allergic to eggs. My doctor and I discussed the problem and she had stopped using vaccines with thimerasol in them before Joey was born. Thimerasol did not cause Joey's autism.
Thimerasol fascists don't seem to care about Joey's lack of exposure. To them, thimerasol is the problem, the rest of us be damned. I'm not saying thimerasol isn't a problem. I'm not saying that mercury exposure is not a cause of autism. I'm not saying there doesn't need to be a push to end its use. I'm just saying it isn't the only cause. We need to look at all the causes of autism, all the strategies for treating it, and do what needs to be done for our children- ALL of our children. Research needs to explore not only thimerasol and mercury poisoning, but other possibilities- genetic problems, other environmental factors, even possible causes during pregnancy.
Thimerasol fascists are closely following on my peeve list with Diet Fascists (who insist that ALL autistic children need to gluten and casein free), ABA Fascists (and Joey gets ABA therapy, so I know it works for us- but for everyone? I'm not convinced), and Medicine Fascists (sorry, Joey is not on any medications for his autism. He doesn't need any.). If these things work for you, then fabulous! I'm glad for you! But getting nasty when I say Joey is not in 40 hours of ABA therapy per week, eats bread and cheese, and doesn't take any medicines is really not necessary. Honestly. He's my kid, and I'll do what works for HIM.