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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why I don't think much about why

Why is Janey autistic? That's something that of course I wonder about, but not something I give a lot of time to thinking about. Why not? Because at this point, it doesn't make a lot of difference. The only exception would be if whatever made her autistic is still harming her, and I don't think that is the case. If she had continued the downward spiral that hit her so suddenly, then I would think that that something was still happening. But I think whatever caused her to be autistic happened during my pregnancy or at the time of conception, when genes combined, or at birth, when the cord was around her neck and her heart rate kept dropping. I don't think it's diet or a vaccine or mercury. I'm not sure about that. But to devote myself to figuring it out, when that provides little current help to Janey, would be a waste of time, in my opinion. I've read a lot of accounts about children with autism. Something I've noticed is that when the parent becomes obsessed with "why", and picks a theory they believe, and starts devoting themselves to that theory, suddenly the account stops talking much about their own child. And I can almost understand this. If I had the means, the help, the way to have someone else take care of the tough day to day parts of caring for Janey, I am not proud to say it, but I would probably spend less time with her too. I think sometimes the only way a parent can let themselves feel this is okay is to decide it's important to help the wider autism community, to devote themselves to helping ALL children with autism, not so much their own specific one. And I don't blame them for it. But I think if I had the help, the support, I would use the time for other things---to sleep, to get out the house, to get a job that has nothing to do with autism. I would try to admit to myself and the world I need a break from autism, and sometimes, a break from Janey. Then when I had had my break, I'd come back refreshed and able to better help the one person with autism that it's my responsibility to help the most---Janey.

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