When People Say Children With Autism Are Products of ‘Bad Parenting’ – Kerry Magro on The Mighty

This one gets me.

Autism is a measurable neurological difference in brain development. Brain scans reveal that Autistic brains are physically different and react to external stimulus in different ways than “normal brains”. These differences are visible in behaviors from early childhood. (Mine were VERY visible from the beginning.)

Autism also seems to be genetic. Looking at my parents, grandparents, aunts, and cousins – I have NO doubt that this is true. I know this now, but I did not always think this way.

Maybe it was my Autistic perspective, but my family was fairly strict with manners and public behavior.

I could be wild like the Tasmanian Devil but I knew when to turn it off. I learned NOT to have outburst in stores and could hold myself together until I was alone or in the bathroom.

From my point of view, working SO hard to behave, other kids who could not hold it together looked like brats.

I know because I WAS this child in my teen years. I did not make my mother’s life easy, but she loved me and accepted me. That is what I needed more than anything.

We did not know I was Autistic and my own mother OFTEN called me a brat, spoiled, and other names. She did the best she could. It was all just a misunderstanding.

My mother did the best she could raising me. She worked hard, long, hours. We argued, but she loved me unconditionally. I am the result of amazing parenting.

Saying I am the result of bad parenting is just another insult – telling me I am defective and broken. Stop telling us that there is something wrong with us. We are different and that’s okay.

Kerry Magro is an AMAZING voice in the Autism community. He is helping to change the way the world sees Autism and Autistic people. Kerry had the following to say in a recent post on The Mighty.

I can take NO credit for anything below. Please check out Kerry Magro and read the full article here on The Mighty.

It’s ridiculous to think “bad parenting” is a cause of autism. That should be the end of the conversation right there. But I do usually follow up these conversations after sharing about my personal experiences by saying the following:

“By being a champion to your child on the autism spectrum, you can make a difference in their lives.”

By showing your child unconditional love, learning more about autism and providing them with supports whenever possible, you can do wonderful things for your child. Advocate for them, and whenever someone says autism is “caused” by bad parenting, make sure to educate those around you about the harm of these misconceptions. And the next time that happens, you can use this quote from one of our leading autism advocates, Dr. Temple Grandin“Autism is a neurological disorder. It’s not caused by bad parenting.”

Please read the full article here.


22 thoughts on “When People Say Children With Autism Are Products of ‘Bad Parenting’ – Kerry Magro on The Mighty”

  1. “I know because I WAS this child in my teen years. I did not make my mother’s life easy, but she loved me and accepted me. That is what I needed more than anything.”

    Yes. Mine knew I was different, but no one would listen to her. In a way I am glad I wasn’t diagnosed when I was much younger, considering how barbaric treatment for people could be back then.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Sure. I always wonder how things would have been different had I knew back then. My mother would not let ANYONE say there was something different or broken in her baby… why my OBVIOUS Autism was never diagnosed. My mother did not want me pathologized and kept me away from mental health professionals.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks for sharing. I used to tell my parents that I was “different” and that the world made no sense to me. They didn’t listen to me, but that doesn’t mean they are bad parents. They were doing the best they could.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is heard a lot in the ADD/EFD community as well – and it always makes my blood boil!

    The moms get the worst of the blame. Even the ex-husband and siblings of a close friend with a schizophrenic son blamed his erratic behavior on HER “coddling vs. disciplining” for most of his life – some still do.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ASD parents aren’t bad; they’re awesome! They’re not able to wing it, bound by routines, advocacy and the knowledge that the wrong choice will lead to anything from a bad day to properly screwing things up long-term. They take courses, scout the internet and become experts in their child, desperate to understand their child and prepared to take on the world in their defence. They’ll face up to education systems and local authorities to achieve things that other parents take for granted, such a right to be included at school. They take beatings and temper tantrums, sometimes in the face of public scorn, sometimes behind closed doors where people don’t believe the extent of the wrath of a child forced into a neurotypical pigeon hole and looking for an outlet of release. They share and they help others and they get up day after day and do the best that they can, knowing that the world refuses to bend to the needs of their child. They do it unconditionally day after day after day, with unconditional love and a desire to do the best that they can.
    Bad parents? I don’t think so!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. As an adult with bipolar disorder with a child with bipolar disorder, I was frequently told that my parenting was to blame for my daughter’s outbursts and difficulties. It was frustrating and only served to make the situation worse. It made both my daughter and I feel ashamed and defective.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Love the Temple Grandin quote; it’s so true in my life. From early on my parents know I had ASD and therefore they raised me as best they could raise a child with ASD; they tailored their parenting to my differences and needs. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed as an adult that my parents did more research into ASD and since then my parents and I have grown in our relationship. I have gone though some difficult things through the past few years and my parents have always been there and I feel that their parenting has always been helpful and loving.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Ditto above. Would you mind if I reference or link this article? I should have asked you about linking your whole blog when I told people I liked your site, I think?? I apologize. If you want me to unlink in that post please tell me. I do think your posts are so relevant to my life. And through you I’m finding so many more wonderful people.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I work as a special educator, helping kids in school with their learning. There are so many people who just don’t understand how ASD affects a person’s behaviour, perception and learning abilities. It makes me so angry sometimes that people won’t take the time to understand and accept difference, especially teachers in school.
    I’m glad you’re writing and sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. People are always looking to lay blame for problems in their lives. Bad parents cause all kinds of stuff: mental illness, addiction, abusive behaviors. I don’t understand the blame game. Would someone blame the parents of a child with Down Syndrome? Would someone blame the parents of a child with cancer? Stupid. Unfortunately, people are stupid and seem to be content to stay that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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