I Don't Care What Causes Autism

by Eileen Shaklee
Originally Published: 

I have a confession to make: I don’t care what causes autism. Not one bit.

I don’t give one flying fig why my kiddo is autistic. I don’t need someone or thing to blame. I don’t need “closure.” I may need a nap, but I don’t need to know the kit and caboodle and all that autistic jazz. To paraphrase Bob Seger here, I have “turned the page.”

Why this self centered attitude? Simple, it’s survival. I have a lot of shit to do and I’m going to leave science to science. None of those researchers ever come here and start a load of laundry and empty the dishwasher. So, I’ll let them do their jobs and use Google for researching new crock pot recipes.

What about the other future families you may wonder? Yes, I get what you are saying. I have known a few families now who have become members of Club Spectrum. It’s hard to see it happen to those you care about and Hallmark has yet to make a greeting card suitable for the occasion. At the same time, I can’t take that all on, too. I’d rather just tunnel vision on doing what I’ve got to do for my kid. I’m all about helping others and sharing basic tips. Don’t get me wrong. I just think it’s way better for any parent’s psyche to spend twenty minutes shooting the breeze over the game last night or this season of Boardwalk Empire than having an in-depth conversation on medical research. Sometimes we have to turn off the “All autism. All the time.” part of our brains because dammit dude, my brain just needs a break.

My son is ten. I have bigger fish to fry. We have a middle school transition that is quickly approaching. Last week, I discovered some hair growing on some places on him and he is starting to have teenage boy stink by the end of the day. Puberty is coming and I will need to be sedated the day we have to figure out how to shave his face. I can’t even get this kid to trim his toe nails without having to sneak it in while he sleeps. Can I shave him as he sleeps? Is that doable?

He still can barely write his name. You want me to read a hundred different articles and blogs that folks keep sending me about what might have caused autism to show up? That has to take a number. He’s growing rapidly here and I have too much to worry about than adding that. Hell, I can’t even remember to take out something to defrost for dinner, much less figure out when I can comb through miles of medical research on this subject. My family can’t eat research.

I am sorry if the question of what caused your child’s autism is still knocking at your door. I just decided to close the door on that subject and I’ve been a lot happier for it.

Despite a life filled with routines and schedules, more freedom came with that choice too. I’m not saying for you to do it. I’m not saying this is the only way of thinking that is right. Like we say in Jersey, “You do you.” Just be open to the idea of shifting your energy off this one thing.

You might just thank me for it.

Related post: How I Cured the Autism “Problem” in Our House

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