What DOESN’T cause Autism…

Autism shirtI’ve been back and forth about writing about my kids exceptional needs on my site for months now.

Ever since the CDC announced a few weeks ago that 1 in 88 children would be diagnosed with Autism, there have been a SLEW of news stories and articles in the media with speculative theories on the causes of Autism.

Today I read two blog posts for national sites that just really irked me.

I’m not even going to give them the courtesy of a link, because I don’t want to continue to spread fear monger information.

Yes, I said fear mongering.

Because as a mother of a child who has Autism, I don’t need to be told what I should have done to prevent it. Nor do  I need to hear about this from well meaning people (who don’t always have children, let alone children with exceptional needs) tell me what I should have done differently.

You know what kills me? The blog post that implies that eating organically, removing my shoes in my house and avoiding BPA will help prevent Autism. Guess what? I’ve been doing that for years.  Apparently it wasn’t enough.

Or the blog post about HFCS being linked to Autism.  Okay, I can agree that too much sugar is bad for anyone, but let’s think about this for a minute. Autism typically shows up around 18-24 months right? So does that mean that all of these mothers of children with Autism are putting cola in their children’s sippy cups? Let’s be realistic here.

Stop eluding that parents are somehow to blame for their children’s Autism, whether it’s due to vaccinations, not taking their shoes off in their house, or drinking a soda while pregnant.

Oh wait, then there was the news story about obesity during pregnancy causing Autism. Great. Because all that leads to is mother’s starving themselves and therefore preventing their child from getting the nutrients they need.

Now before everyone goes all crazy on me, yes, I do think toxins and chemicals are bad. I am not in anyway shape or form disputing that. But I can tell you these “well meaning” posts I see do more harm then good. Do you know how insulting is as a mother being told that the reason her son has Autism is probably because she didn’t do XYZ and oh here is a random article found on the Internet to back it up.

And as far as vaccines are concerned… not that it’s your business but yes, we vaccinate on an alternative schedule. But not because we believe vaccines cause Autism, but for medical reasons. Approved by our pediatrician.

Enough with the scare tactics. How about a little support for these parents. Start helping them find ways to cope and support their children.

The truth is, they really don’t know what causes Autism.

Originally published April 25, 2012. 

About Kerri Jablonski

Kerri Jablonski AKA The Maven lives in Seattle,WA with her 3 kids (2008, 2010, 2013), husband, cats and backyard chickens. Two of her children have special needs. Kerri enjoys cooking, travel, movies and spending time with her family.


  1. I couldn’t agree with you more on this post! I hear all those crazy stories and while some can be true, some are so unbelievably far fetched

  2. I totally agree. Let’s focus on the FACTS. Guessing, scaring and guilt-tripping parents isn’t doing any good!

  3. Well said! I’ve always been intrigued by Autism and have read books and such on the topic for years even though I don’t know anyone in my close circle that has it. I am reading a book right now actually by Bobbi Sheahan.

    It definitely is NOT helping to place blame.

  4. Yep! Lets focus on the facts and stop pointing fingers. That is the easy way out. Lets figure this thing out!

  5. Tough topic and interesting info. This discussion has been brought up around me lately because I want to have a baby

  6. Maggie @ Tethered Mommy says:

    Being that your children have these exceptional needs, I take your opinion much more to heart than those of nameless doctors and studies. I was really upset about the obesity during pregnancy link story. I wish they could find a REAL answer and not use fear mongering. Thanks for this post – it’s really got me thinking.

  7. Kelly A. Tanner says:

    “The truth is, they really don’t know what causes Autism.” I agree with you! They say it’s environmental, then they say it’s genetic… They don’t know anything about it!

  8. Amen Sister! Amen. I especially agree with your comment on Vaccines! Bless you for being a mom of an Austic child. You walk a tough road, you don’t need further crap!

  9. Lori Davis says:

    I’m so glad to see you write this. I am all for healthy living, but at some point we have to stop guessing, pointing fingers, and being bullied into believing things we have no scientific evidence is true. One person says, “Don’t chew bubble gum, it’s bad!”, the next thing you know, 50 people are crapping themselves thinking that, because they chewed gum, they’re going to keel over. People need to stop being so obsessive and live life.

  10. I think we all just have this need for answers, and if there is any link at all, people feel they need to publish it. There gotta be more than a few things causing autism because if they were true, some kids should have it and some not. No one really knows so yeah, we do need to shut up about it until we do know for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and please, never hesitate to do so.

  11. The media promotes this idea that everything in life is now controllable – if we just do the right things the right way, we can have total control over everything in our lives. I think that idea is so appealing to some people that they are willing to believe things that are obviously false to allow themselves that illusion of control. So, in a way, I actually feel sorry for the people writing and believing those articles more than I am angry at them – they have such a dearth of meaning in their lives that this is all they can cling to. Good for you for rising above it!

  12. hypothetical guesses and not facts. and people should take it as it is, theories NOT facts. I am glad you brought up this subject. I know people who are under stress because they’re always blamed on their children having autism. It’s sad but true that there are so many narrow-minded people that could not see beyond their nose.

  13. Oh, dear. Another thing to blame mothers for. It is NOT your fault. Even if you did not do everything perfectly don’t beat yourself up about it.

  14. Betty Baez says:

    you tell them!!! i completely agree with you there really isnt a known fact of what causes autism and the’re just trying to pin it on anything under the sun

  15. Amen to this.

    I am the mother of a child with special needs (brain cancer). I was given a plethora of unwanted opinions, advice and other insulting things.

    Nothing is black and white…..and I hate when it’s said as if it is.

  16. LaceyL (DailyWoman) says:

    Well Said, I am a mother just like you and I hate to read the post that say “if you had done this” your child may not have autism. I believe there is a combinations of things that cause it and we may not ever know WHAT causes it. What we need to do now is give these children (and parents) the support they need.

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