What Causes Autism? Brain Injury?

It’s genetic – Looking around at my closest male and female relatives, Autistic traits can be noticed in all of them. My autism was obvious from childhood. I have video footage starting the day I came home from the hospital through my teenage years. It is clear to me that in my own case – Autism is genetic.

I recently have been reading more and more information online suggesting that autistic children may have weakened blood brain barriers and be more supportable to brain injuries.

Someone else, who I’ve known for years, has an Autistic son. He suffered a sudden mystery illness after being vaccinated and never recovered. The child has compromised mental function and appears to have had a negative reaction to the vaccine.

Regarding the case above – I know the extended family of the woman and the boy very well, and they are much like my own family little traces of Autistic tendencies everywhere.

My personal feelings regarding what happened to the boy are different from his mother’s.

She feels his Autism was caused entirely by the vaccine and I strongly believe the tendencies for Autism would have eventually been discovered regardless.

She claims there were no signs of Autism before her son came down with the sudden illness – and I have to believe that she is telling the truth as she sees it.

I can’t help but  see autism in the mother, the grandmother, and the uncles who I also know well.

I have a theory that Autistic kids are more susceptible to chemical brain injury – I would LOVE for science to catch up and prove me right. The illnesses that accompany Autism are the problem – not the Autism itself. Our immune systems are weakened and we need to be protected. We are fragile flowers.

We are still trying to answer what causes Autism, it might be a while before we find all the answers.

For now I will quote Autism Speaks – a polarizing organization that has not yet gained my trust (but changing their mission statement earlier this fall was a start) – on what science has to say.

 

What Causes Autism?

Not long ago, the answer to this question would have been “we have no idea.” Research is now delivering the answers. First and foremost, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.

Autism Speaks – full article here.

 

 

 

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68 thoughts on “What Causes Autism? Brain Injury?”

  1. Well, PDA is definitely genetic, there can be no doubt of that. And since PDA is a sub-type of autism then that’s a good starting point to prove that autism is genetic. You can’t have PDA without autism and every PDAer has varied autism traits as varied as non-PDAer autistics. I’d be very surprised if autism were not genetic.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Than you SO much for adding to the conversation. I do firmly believe our genes and gene expression have a GREAT deal to do with Autism. I also don’t think Autism is a ‘new thing’ or that rates are that much higher. I think people are less ashamed and not afraid of being diagnosed these days.

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      1. Thanks for the great post and I look forward to your blog. That we have not had any conclusive evidence for genetic links to autism does not mean there aren’t any, however the lack thereof does not help alleviate potentially harmful speculation. I imagine that autism is a very complex biological pathway, which is highly sensitive to environmental factors. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to prove that increasing autism rates are associated with changes in vaccine programs. In addition to the changing vaccines programs, to name only a few, our diet, and awareness of autism (and medical technology), have also changed over time.

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        1. They are currently in the middle of full genome sequencing at the Autism Science Foundation of Autistic people. I think this will be exciting. So far they have isolated several genes that can be linked to Autism, but it still seems unclear how much is environmental / epigenetic influence.

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    1. No, not in a million years. I’ve always felt and been different from everyone. My autism affects everything from the way I interact and intemperate the world to my logical way of thinking. I’m creative and have passion. I have a fresh way of seeing things, value the truth above all else, and am very loyal and honest. All of these things have been greatly influenced by my Autism. Sickness and all I would not give it up.

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      1. if i knew you very personally, and you were suddenly not autistic, i would miss the old you. we have a unique interaction/perspective with the world, occasionally celebrated by nts. my own family (who are generally in denial about the whole thing, and attribute common traits of asd with “some other unknown factors” ??) have written in letters over the years: “i love the way you explain things”, “i love the details”, “i love your perspective” but they treat the source of these as some kind of problem– when its a challenge (made less so by understanding/acceptance they refuse to take part in.)

        the way to “fix” autism is over time, by learning various ways to cope with your own nature in a world that is designed for nts. by no means do they have to live “our way”– but accepting that we will need to adjust light and sound levels to perform our best– accepting that we need time out to get away from the stress of dealing with TONS of stimuli– accepting that (just like the computers they spend huge amounts of money on special cooled rooms for) we have to vent slightly differently than other people– its not that anyone has to live our way, but that we simply have our own slightly different requirements in a very conformist world. thats it! thats all it takes. and yet we are still years behind, because no one wants to hear it. its an absurd tragedy. youre the best, anna. i mean it subjectively, but from what people i know– youre tops.

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        1. and obviously i only speak for a portion of us when i say that– i mean “thats all it takes” isnt going to be exactly the same for everyone on the spectrum. but i believe thats what it takes for a significant portion of us– something very simple that begins with understanding (and listening.)

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  2. I totally agree with what you’ve written here. Since my sons diagnosis I have since realized I have Autistic tendencies (not all of them negative, I am a professional musician and my neuro diversity has accentuated that. I also now see my husband is quite Autistic and struggles more than me. Our genetic combinations created our son who was showing obvious signs at age two, but when I look back was also at birth. He was not vaccinated at birth and we chose not to throughout as my cousin was severely brain damaged due to vaccines.
    My mother has shades as does my father, my brother, one of my uncles and my husbands mother and his brother. Interesting stuff!! And I love them all for their intelligence, uniqueness and kindness.

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  3. It also erks me when people put Autism flippantly down to just one thing. It’s this that causes it, or just that. Simplifying is what mainstream does best, just a silver-bullet approach. Someone said to me the other day that the reason people try to flippantly solve another’s problems is not because they want to solve it. They need to give an answer quickly so it will go away so they won’t be made feel uncomfortable by it any more. It’s a self-serving solution, not one that is genuine about coming up with any real answers. I’m not for solving the Autistic ‘problem’ I’m all for compassion, understanding and tolerance. The way I see it is the mainstream world has more problems than an Autistic person would ever have. Mainstream is over rated and not ‘fitting into it’ is not what it’s cracked up to be.

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    1. monoculture is one of humanities worst inventions. humans are not monolithic– the idea that everyone has to be so incredibly similar in practically every way (except for fairly superficial things like fashion and musical taste– and even then…) its a recipe for a very screwy planet– much like the one we have created.

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  4. Like you say it is genetic. I was born this way, and I am not aware that I had any of the childhood vaccines that are prevalent today. Maybe environmental factors played a role too, maybe they didn’t, I don’t know. But how come I got it and my brothers and sisters didn’t, when they were exposed to the same things I was. Although my brothers and sisters display ‘traits’ as opposed to actually having the syndrome, I am the only one with the syndrome itself, and I am the only one that takes after my Mum genetically to a great degree, my brothers and sisters all taking after my father strongly. So I am now certain my Mum had it, she got it from her Dad, she used to comment on how very similar I was to him character-wise.

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  5. The associated illnesses are not something I have much knowledge of outside of gastrointestinal.
    When it comes to autism being “fixed” there are so many components to the diagnosis and some do add to a person’s individuality and is rewarding. The core issue in my autistic genetic line is the limited ability for conversation. The severe lack of friendships and chronic social rejection due to this is intolerable. I overheard someone about a month ago explaining to someone who occasionally crossed my path and wanted to know why we didn’t get together socially was that I am boring. My brain limits words for conversation This I would do anything for to be fixed. My literal thinking , my open acceptance of people, my detailed thinking and my love of differences I am accepting of. My short term memory issue and conversation limits I do not accept. Does this mean I want to be neurotypical? I just want to be invited and included and for my 2 now adult children to also be released from their very limited inclusion.

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    1. Yes – for me my long term memory is FOREVER but my shorter is poop. There is something that was taken for EVERY skill I have. It is so hard to separate things. I think that is why Autistic people have spiky brains – because any extreme in one area of the brain leaches off another area of the brain… I guess the power that can be put into brain development is limited.

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  6. Interesting. I see this with my brother. However, I see no hints of autism in anybody else in the family. The only similarity is that he had epilepsy as a child, but I have since developed likewise. Though without any signs of autism.

    I am a firm believer that vaccines can contribute to (not cause) autism. Whilst doing good in general they affect some people negatively. I cannot be vaccinated against polio, for example. The first dose nearly killed me and caused irreparable damage.

    I am learning much from your blog!

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  7. “little traces of Autistic tendencies”

    Wow — this was like a light going on. I guess I can be so literal at times I never made the connection that of course that’s one end of a very varied spectrum. Although I can interact very well with people, have no trouble speaking in public, making friends, I have never had a sense of who I was, and have always tried to figure out who I should be and then trying to be that. With literally everyone in my life. Still do. I thought it was because I grew up moving from country to country, always trying to figure out what was culturally appropriate in the new school, neighborhood, etc, but now I’m thinking that’s probably not all of it. My my my.

    As far as changing, I’m not sure. I’d prefer to have a good sense of who I am and how I’m supposed to act in the world. On the other hand, I’m a pretty good artist and musician, and maybe that’s part of it.

    I love this blog. You are really helping a lot of folks.

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  8. As I blogged a bit ago, childhood stroke is both common and often misdiagnosed as autism. Stroke is very common at age 1 and 2, and the symptoms superficially mimic autism. The clear differentiation is by MRI, which can identify scar tissue in the brain from the stroke. My grandson’s diagnosis was corrected when a speech therapist who works with both autistic and child stroke patients requested that the MRI be done. (Unfortunately, that was 7 years after the original diagnosis.) Many doctors will do the autism diagnosis without doing the scan. Therapy for autism doesn’t work with stroke patients, and vice versa.

    In the literature, autism characteristics emerge gradually. Sudden onset is symptomatic of stroke.

    These days, parents have to advocate for their children and cannot take for granted what the doctor says (or knows). Knowledge and second opinions are crucial.

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  9. I think vaccines can definitely react differently with different people and in some cases they are dangerous, my 4 year old is autistic and we recently just realised that his younger sister (2 years) is probably too, both non verbal. My boy is vaxxed up to a year old and his sister only the first three lots which is still alot. i would say in our case after looking at both our families its genetic but the vaccines haven’t helped either. ive seen and heard stories of kids changing overnight after having vaccines and so i do see how its seen as a cause and may well be, there are plenty of cases where its been proven for a particular person. I also think the environment is a big factor and tummy problems too and in some people i can understand when they heal the gut, change food etc how it seems that its gone! But in my opinion i think there are lots of things that will help and that will affect each person differently, there is no cure. Im dyslexic and its just who i am, i learn differently. What needs to be the biggest change is people’s idea of normal! And acceptance, less judgement and more understanding of those different to them.

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    1. “its just who i am, i learn differently” – yes that is the part that people won’t change about me. The part that is not pathological. I think the sensory issues and illnesses often spike with stress and exposure to bad things – at least for me that is how it is. When I am kindest and truest to myself than I am the most healthy – mentally and physically.

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    2. This is a good summary of the fraudulent “research” that fed the hoopla linking vaccines and autism.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136032/

      The person who committed the fraud got fired, but its been very hard to make the hoopla go away. People are still clinging to the notion that someone had to do something to cause the illness. At the same time, the hoopla draws attention away from the companies that are actually dumping dangerous chemicals into the environment and that may in fact be feeding autism (and cancer).

      As we’ve seen, it’s really hard to make “fake news” go away, but it has to go, or we will never focus on the real problems that need attention.

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  10. My personal experience with J:

    My children were born of my first marriage. Throughout that marriage I heard stories of “crazy Uncle Louie” who had many quirks that were inexplicable to all. I never met the man because I never walked on “the right side of the street,” followed the same “flight pattern when doing my shopping,” or “visited at the right time of the right day of the correct week in each month when guests were acceptable.” Uncle Louie was the family’s eccentric, the butt of all jokes (you didn’t want to be specific about anything or you’d be “pulling an Uncle Louie.”)

    J’s older brother has never been diagnosed, but we have reached the conclusion that he is high-functioning in the Spectrum, and his meltdowns are rare but involve broken things that he doesn’t remember wanting to destroy. The only things he remembers is “being overwhelmed” and then something is in shards or pieces.

    I put both kids to bed one night, and in the morning J’s vocabulary and eye contact were gone. No fever, no illness.

    My ex-husband remarried, and had two children with his second wife. The oldest is in the Spectrum. His case, in some ways, is more severe than J’s. In hindsight, my ex-husband always showed signs of a detachment and self-involvement that could be the result of a genetic predisposition. Uncle Louie had his grocery lists alphabetized, his side of the street that he would walk on (freaking out when the sidewalk was blocked by anything,) and so on and so forth. His nephew, my children’s father, had obsessions that were “annoying” at the time, but look more like TGG’s single-mindedness for some subjects, and J’s hyper-focus on things.

    As you say: the predisposition to fragility in certain areas of the developmental process (in the brain) is very likely inherited. My ex-father in-law started collecting basketball cards in the early 90s, and it was an obsession that overwhelmed him, his family, everyone around him. The predisposition to not tolerate vaccines in the way others do might be present, too.

    In the case of those who argue (quite heatedly) against vaccinating their children I always have the same answer: a) don’t turn my son into a poster child of what you wouldn’t want in your home, in your family, b) the object of having a child is to work as hard as possible to keep him/her alive and healthy; c) every child is a shot in the dark…you never know WHAT is going to happen.

    I’d rather have J as he is than not have him. Would life have been easier? That is all relative. That is also all a matter for speculation. Every single time two people make the choice to have sex and possibly conceive a child together it is implied that they are playing Russian roulette with genes…theirs, their parents’, their parents’ parents’, their parents’ parents’ parents’… Just because this Autism word didn’t exist in the early 1800s doesn’t mean the signs and symptoms, the characteristics and quirks, the complexities and idiosyncrasies didn’t exist. They just didn’t have a name.

    As usual, my friend, you have eloquently expressed something that often floats around our minds. Thanks for your thoughts. I value them.

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  11. I was drawn to your post because of its title. I probably had a brain bleed and certainly developed hydrocephalus due to premature birth as a baby. My psychologist is now using that supposed brain injury as a reason to remove my autism diagnosis. I know how wrong this is – preemies and those with hydrocephalus are more likely, not less, to have autism. However, because she’s the psychologist and she determines what diagnosis goes into my file, I constantly need validation of the fact that at the very least I could theoretically be autistic.

    As for Liz’s comment on vaccines, i have to agree. Vaccines don’t cause autism, but vaccine injury is real, though it’s probably rarer than the antivaccine crowd would like to believe.

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  12. I love your post. My five year old son has autism and sensory processing disorder. He came to us, through foster care at 2 months old. He was born around 31 weeks drug addicted weighing in at 4 pounds. He came into our care because of a head injury he sustained from his bio mom. He was diagnosed at the age of three but even before that we knew he was unique. We have since adopted three of his siblings, their ages now 6, 3 and 1. I can see traces of autism in them all although not at severe. With that being said I believe it’s genetic. I know his injury did not help him (or did the drugs) but with all of them having some traits it has to run in their birth moms family. Thank you for shining a positive light on autism.

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  13. I love this post 😊 I definitely think you’re onto something. Although both my parents are technically NT (as far as I know), they both do exhibit a lot of the traits not typically found in NTs. (And of course, they passed all the Aspie traits on to my sister and me lol – which I think is great!!) 😊

    I’m actually really glad I’m on the spectrum, so I’m thankful for the inherited traits ❤️

    Wonderful post, Anna! 👏🏼💘

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  14. Thank you for this post. My mom had undiagnosed hypothyroid (Hashimoto) disorder while pregnant with me. She and my dad were in their forties and fifties, respectively, when they had me. No IVF in the late 1970’s. She experienced my kicking so violently in her 6th month when playing loud and lively songs on the organ. I did not make much eye contact as a newborn and wasn’t over the moon about cuddling. I focused on objects more than people, namely, shadows on the wall. I didn’t like men’s voices. All of this before being vaccinated. Not discounting vaccine injury at all, just saying that one doesn’t have to have had that to be autistic.

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  15. Anna, I would have written this post if I was as talented as you. I agree with your ideas on ASD. My daughter has this diagnosis, and I see so many of the traits in family members, even in the stories told of a grandfather I don’t remember. But not enough traits in any one person to get a diagnosis. Until my daughter, and her difficult birth. Perfectly lines up with the “genetic” along with “environmental circumstances. ” I always appreciate your thoughts, and use them as pivot points for our journey. Thank you.

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  16. I also would have to say genetics make a difference. A lot of my odder traits have been attributed to my grandfather, only some of which are present in my father. In a time long before Asperger’s it never would have occurred to people my grandfather would have it. As for vaccine’s, people have reactions to medication, I think we see it more in vaccine’s because it something that so many people take them. The fact people leave the most vulnerable in society susceptible because they fear potential Autism always saddens me, it implies that those of us on the spectrum are less acceptable than a dead child.

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  17. My family is peppered with autism traits on both sides, with a few (undiagnosed) very typical examples of ASD at levels that ‘impair normal functioning’ to quite a significant extent. I also had my kids vaccinated – in addition to being affected by ASD some family members have also been affected permanently by those childhood illnesses the vaccines protect against. Many with ASD and traits were born in a pre-vaccine era. Life is full of risks & choices, and we all roll the dice in the lottery of genetics (which is a super complex and still evolving area, for example, see epigenetics where environment/life events of parent could impact genetics of future generations as well). I don’t think we have all the answers and we may never do so fully. For me personally I’m grateful for my neurodivergent family and also for vaccines that keep potentially fatal and life-changing diseases mainly in the past…

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  18. I see autism in my family as well,on both sides.I noticed autism rates seem to go up during times of emotional turmoil or stress.In my own personal life as being a mother of a child with autism as well as myself my

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    1. My comment was cut off unexpectedly.I was very stressed and anxious the entire time I was pregnant.My mom was extremely depressed while pregnant with me.My son was born very tense overstimulated and wide awake.I was born with little affect.I slept all the time and basically was such a good baby I could have easily been left alone without much attention,because I didn’t need much care.My mom was seventeen and already had a baby.My sister was 18 months old when I was born.She was a handful.Always talking full of energy the very opposite of me.My aunt was 14 years old when I was born and pretended like I was her baby and so I was given lots of attention.My son was a baby who constantly was cared for, held, and interacted with.My point is isn’t there two types Hyper and hypo autism? And I believe the hyper type has more verbal autistics than the hypo.There are exceptions I am one of the exceptions.

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      1. So I don’t know if they have officially said about two types of Autism – but I’ve noticed what you are talking about. There are hypo and hyper sensitivities and also introverted and extroverted Autistic people. I am on the hyper-sensitive side for almost everything it. I was called obnoxious. I’ve seen kids that are the “hypo type” they tend to be sluggish and called laze. People don’t understand it.

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  19. I’m not the smartest guy on the planet, however, I’m one of the wisest in my “community”. I’ve learned that when people knee-jerk responses to things, they tend to be wrong. I am no different, so I pause and think a bit…OK, a while. Vaccines cause autism! I thought, “Nooo, can’t be.” Then I learned that parents were ashamed of having an autistic child; just like having a gay child, or hyperactive child. They were ashamed and felt they would become outcasts. Then other things lead to autism. Drinking water, air pollution, microwaves, even solar radiation. That was the 94 to 2006 that I can remember before it was silent again. Every person on this planet has a bit of autism. Every person has it to a lower or higher, or even extreme degree, and just like personality traits, they have it in specific areas. Where is my proof? People like YOU, who have the power to talk about themselves, and what they experience in life. My observation of people, especially those who strongly reject any claims of it being genetic, because those people have the most to hide, and when you talk them, you’ll find it in areas. It’s usually obvious. We all have it, and it scares the hell out of people to think they are not like everyone else. Fear rules the human animal, and people fear being seen different as different people are usually abused by their environment. They grew up seeing it, and/or doing it. FEAR: it’s what’s for dinner.

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    1. Thank you SO much for adding all of these valuable thoughts! “Then I learned that parents were ashamed of having an autistic child; just like having a gay child, or hyperactive child. They were ashamed and felt they would become outcasts.” – an angle I will be pondering more because I believe you are correct. #sadbuttrue Thank you my friend! ❤

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  20. YES YES YES. I was so scared that autistic people would not understand what I think is causing so much low functioning for all of us. With MCS we know it’s not the immune system. Tons of studies have proven that. We know that it is neurological and endocrine. It’s multisystem , multiorgan. Whether it is having a genetic disposition to impaired liver detoxification like me , the brain blood barrier actually breaking , the olfactory gland bypassing everything and going straight to the brain, and all of those endocrine disruptors, the ones from microwaved plastic bottles and sippy cups that have given children with diabetes, obesity and getting your period at age 9, the pesticides turn into estrogen which we are swimming in , with high heavy-metal poisoning ( most American children today still have DDT in them even though it’s been banned for at least 40 years , the chemicals don’t go away) and we know that lead poisoning causes aggression, copper poisoning mimics estrogen go so far as to show bipolar symptoms without being treated , and there is an enzyme that is deficient very deficient with people who have MCS, Lyme disease, Gulf War syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome , fibromyalgia and silicon breast implants disorders . This enzyme is somehow related to the entire functioning of your body. But there’s connection with estrogen and since we are swimming in it that may be why women are affected the most with MCS , fibromyalgia etc.

    I just contacted the most important MCS researcher in the world asking if I could help turn her book for living with MCS into an e-book so those of us who cannot be around chemical ink could read it . I told her about understanding all of the different problems for getting anything done about MCS and how I have changed laws for my survival and build the SafeCanaryNest.org the largest international resource for any kind of information about MCS . She is notoriously hard to get a response from but she emailed me back three times that day and she retires in three years. I was very surprised when she said since everybody else is dead or elderly she thought it was over for MCS. But instead she has seen the future and it’s me!

    I sent her my list of the things that have to be done but also said I am autistic. So I don’t know if I am safe in the MCS community. I don’t know if they’re capable of thinking outside of black-and-white terms “normal”. It’s already hard enough not being Christian . This is not a very aware population necessarily. And so I told her what I am really good at doing and what I need to do it but there is inside of me deep fear that someone who is one of my heroes and legendary will turn around and change everything based on the word autistic. Even though I explained what I think makes it environmental illness connected but it’s not an environmental illness and I’m scared about if now we will be working together at all. She gave me her home email and everything. I said I would find a publisher or do Lulu so the book is back in circulation and she really wants to update it because the companies are out of business etc. but it still the best guide . And with her self publishing and having to mail it out while being a university professor struggling nonstop to try to get her papers into journals and also protesting some environmental issues locally that’s not really something she should have on her plate – mailing out books.

    This is the place where I worry that being autistic and having had mild MCS from birth and then doctors destroying my liver with horrible psychiatric medication I did not need because they could not believe autism because I have empathy ( I don’t understand that one, maybe I just study people a lot or there’s some sort of other information I’m getting but I like a lot of people who are autistic will just melt down from horribleness information overload) and then chronic carbon monoxide low-level poisoning along with other gases and a lot of VOCs – sick building syndrome – when having Lyme disease and babesiosis has me in the most severe MCS category. Will the autism community assume that I am one of those people who thinks autism is caused by environmental things? Will the MCS community assume that I am one of those people who is a victim of environmental things making me autistic? Will people be open-minded to the middle?

    I watched a friend who had a very low functioning son with any year have “no symptoms of autism” when she took him to a different pediatrician just to check . The way that they did it was fighting herpes 6 or G some type of herpesvirus and massive antibiotics and everything was focused on the intestines , the gut . It was horrible for the kid the two weeks when he would be on the medications but whatever was off in his gut when it was fixed he was able to handle food and talking to people . He would notice me. And his language skills suddenly became age-appropriate. I know that independent they have been doing work with that as well. My friend just happen to find the only American doctor trained in it. Because she believes her child was cured I don’t want to talk to her again because she’s the type to gives a lot of medical advice you don’t ask for . But it’s really obvious that her husband’s family is filled with NeuroDiversity . I don’t want to hear about all of the things I should be doing to be c ured

    And I have another friend who is a big disability rights person who has a very low functioning autistic son and she has tried literally everything and in the end the only thing that worked was ABA I think that’s what it’s called and it’s what everyone is against, so she feels like an awful mother. But he is 16 and can beat the crap out of her . And he doesn’t have language and wears a diaper , when he was 12 she had to still push him the stroller (he would not switch to a wheelchair). She gets so tired of being judged . I’m scared to say anything about being autistic because I don’t know if she understands that there is high functioning but I also don’t know if she understands that high functioning sucks in the world of today. She has a lot of NeuroDivergant things going on, she recently asked me if I thought she had ADD. But I think she’s always been big with autism speaks so I’m afraid we won’t be able to be friends anymore.

    Also I know that a lot of parents with low functioning autistic children feel really out of place at the support groups for parents of autistic children because there’s a giant difference in the issues that they’re facing. So they feel completely left out of what should be they’re support.

    I don’t know how to navigate it . Considering that I don’t know if people would believe I am autistic. I don’t think it would surprise anyone if I said Asbergers but you don’t have that option in the United States anymore. And with the book that you suggested it does talk about how there was a difference in what they were studying.

    So because I have a double identity , just like I am on the fringe of so many other groups that cancel each other out in their eyes , I don’t really know where is my safe community. Dealing with strangers online is really scary because you never know when someone just freaked out because they came online to freak out. Knowing that people go online when they’re in a bad moods as a way of stress reduction and attack people so they won’t do it in real life is hard when you’re only human contact is Internet. And you still don’t have whatever the screening discernment stuff is . There’s so much less to work with trying to figure out what this human being is doing online. It’s a lot harder to get away from hostile people.

    Does your blog get comments that are negative about autism that you do not post? People who tell you that you cannot be autistic? Or who say it’s not that bad ? Or whatever? Knowing that would somehow make me feel better because it is unusual to see so much support for someone writing about something controversial. Not that I want you to go through that. It just makes me think I really don’t understand online people interaction. Since I can do human beings one at a time that is a lot easier but when doing Internet communication can be anyone with any crazy motives so the only way it comes out is as me. Anyway as always you are very helpful.

    Is what you are saying something that other autistic people also understand? Not all of them but some of them? It just seems that with MCS being neurological and endocrine and autism being neurological, there would be some kind of overlap.

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    1. So here is the thing about my blog comments. I had them locked until I was sure they were positive – and then I could not keep up moderation so I unlocked them. People stayed positive and every now and then people are mildly insensitive but NEVER intentionally mean. I let people know they are NOT allowed to fight with each other and I won’t tolerate any negativity and people listen. It is wonderful. I am firm in what I allow here because this is my space. I will delete if something gets ugly but so far I have only had to stop one argument between people – not at me.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Great post! I really believe that genetics (not always, but a lot of the time!) play a role I work with teens with autism and would have regular contact with their families, and I can definitely see traits in a lot of cases! It’s nice to read a post that doesn’t blame vaccines- it must be so hard on parents who blame themselves, and on new parents who debate whether to give their children life saving vaccines for fear they could cause autism.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great Post Anna! Like you I see genetic predispositions to autism in my family it is strewn with people, on both paternal and maternal, sides who in my reckoning have strong autistic traits. Some would definitely have been diagnosed as being Autistic or Aspergers under DSMIV, if that was available in their era. Some were given less enlightened diagnoses.

    Many of us, including myself, have chemical sensitivities, Gastrointestinal/bowel problems, fibromyalgia, insomnia, thyroid issues, restless leg syndrome,some epilepsy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gluten and Lactose Intolerance,General Anxiety Disorder and of course acute.. panic attacks etc… in my case ,apart from epilepsy , I have all on the list and more.

    I also wonder what part a mitochondrial dysfunction may play in all of this as we autistics, seem to suffer from great energy depletion across the various stages of life and it is usually resultant from overload from a variety of stressors.

    I’ve read that using the brain actually uses much more energy than physical activity so it is no wonder we are so susceptible to burnout.
    This could account for the inability of many of us to function in the expected modes e.g. speaking etc, after coping with other aspects of survival, the energy demands may be greater than the energy reserves.

    These are just some of my observations of self and others and I’m hoping there will be more exploration into the role mitochondria plays in autism.

    P.S. I was born with GI problems, chemical sensitivities, Gluten & Lactose Intolerance and was a poor sleeper, for starters. More ailmants became apparent over the years.
    A DIFFICULT BABY…i was frequently told.

    Liked by 1 person

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