Was It Something I Said or Did? 18

AloeThis normally positive mom is feeling a little prickly today like the outside of this aloe plant.  There are several reasons for this.  The first is I made the mistake of watching Dr. Oz’s show on autism.  I know better than to watch some shows just like I know better than to participate in some discussions. 

I am not on the autism spectrum by any diagnostic criteria or by any of the quizzes for autism or Asperger’s, but I have my own quirks.  My husband and I often discuss the fact that both of us are quirky so we shouldn’t be surprised that our children are although only our daughter is on the spectrum.  Still it may come as a surprise for those parents that are on the spectrum that those of us who aren’t still question ourselves constantly. 

Dr. Oz’s show brought up once again that the advanced age of parents increases the risk of autism.  This is not a big surprise although when I was pregnant I did not worry as much about my age.  Both my mother and my maternal grandmother had children when they were over forty without problems.  I am one of those children so I just assumed my children would be okay too. 

However, one of the doctors on Dr. Oz’s show said that the increased risk is thirty percent for children born to mother’s over thirty-five and the increased risk is twenty percent for older fathers.  My husband and I were both over thirty-five when both of our children were born.  Then another researcher said that children born to parents living within a quarter of a mile of a freeway also have an increased risk of autism and yes, my house is within that distance to the freeway.  The eternal question; did I cause my child’s autism?

I really do not want to buy into the woo as my fellow blogger, Kim, who writes the blog Countering calls it.  I cannot go back regardless and really I do not want to go back.  The reality is overall both of my children are doing well.  Plus, my son was born three years after my daughter so the age thing really does not fit.  

This brings up the other issue that breaks my heart.  Recently, I finished fellow blogger, Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s book, The Uncharted Path: My Journey With Late-Diagnosed Autism.  I recommend those who have not read it do; however, this is not a review. 

Her story caused me to look back on all the mistakes we made before we had the correct diagnosis.  Our daughter still has not completely forgiven her dad although I know in my heart our story is different from Rachel’s.  I just want them to have the type of relationship my dad and I had.  Thus, the second reason for the woo! 

Also, I cannot help but notice some of you have not commented on my blogs in ages.  Have I done something or said something wrong?  Reading “Are You Well-versed in Comment Etiquette” by Word Press brought up this question.  See again the doubts so common with my Aspie friends.  I know from reading your blogs that you all have your problems too, and I am hoping that is the only reason. 

I know I am very fortunate compared to so many others in the world. I am grateful for my husband and both of my children.  I just need to learn to turn the television off when they talk about causes of autism and the importance of early intervention another reason for my woo.