Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ah, Awareness Month FAQ

Whenever there's a bit of a news blitz about autism, we get snowed in with the question, "What causes autism?" Desperate parents with new diagnoses. Family members who are curious. Friends who haven't moved beyond that. Other parents who like to toss around old questions. They all want to know: what caused Joey's autism? (Sometimes I think they are really asking, "Did you cause Joey's autism?", but perhaps that is for another blog post...)

We have no idea why Joey is autistic.

Vaccines did not cause Joey's autism. He was autistic before he was ever vaccinated. He was autistic from birth. None of his vaccinations contained thimerasol (did I really have to just type that again?) He did not show any adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine.

We have no family history of autism or anything that would now be diagnosed as autism or asperger's syndrome, so far as we know or understand. We do have family history of what is now called sensory integration dysfunction.

We did not have a "normal pregnancy." I went gestational diabetic with both pregnancies. I only had insulin with Andy, not Joey. Joey did briefly go into "distress" and was born by emergency c-section. Both babies has jaundice (Andy's was far worse than Joey's). I also lost 40 pounds over the course of each pregnancy (never fear, I found them all again).

Joey's head grew normally.

Joey does not have any signs, nor has tested positive for, PST deficiency.

Joey has testing negative for any heavy metal poisoning.

Joey has tested negative for food allergies and respiratory allergies. He does have some kind of contact allergy, most probably to floor or carpet cleaner and related products.

Joey was not sick a day until he was two years old. He then had a mild stomach bug, for which no medicine was required. He did not have so much as sniffle before then. The only medication he received before he went to school- including aspirin, ibuprophen, tylenol, antibiotics, cold meds, etc.- were any drops placed in his eyes at the hospital, numbing gel for his teething, and neosporin for minor cuts. He was autistic before receiving any of these medications. He did not have ear infections until he started school. We did have two days of a yeast issue in breastfeeding, but no yeast infections on his part (just on my part).

Joey shows no sign of seizures.

I have never smoked, nor does anyone living in my home. I did not drink during my pregnancies.

So I have no idea why my son is autistic. He is. I'm sure there are plenty of other theories popping around. Ultimately, God made him this way. God made me to help him learn to cope, survive, thrive, flourish, and enjoy life. Then He made Andy. He did not make Andy autistic. He made me to help Andy learn to cope, survive, thrive, flourish, and enjoy life. And we are having the time of our lives.


kristina said...

We are too---very well said!

Casdok said...

Just enjoy!! :)

little.birdy said...

I wonder why ignorance spreads so much faster than truth (re: vaccines)...

Joeymom said...

Because we live in a society where image is highly regarded. We are more likely to believe an actress than a scientist- even in matters of science.

Club 166 said...

Even really bad actresses, unfortunately.


Stimey said...

Plus it's an easy answer. And something concrete to rage against. Not knowing is harder, I think.