To the People Who Send Me Articles About What Causes Autism

Hey, you. Yeah, you. You have a child with Autism.

And you know what? It’s not your fault.

A few days after you informed your family your son (or daughter) had been diagnosed with autism, a family member posted a link (and tagged you) on their Facebook page. The link contained an article called “Tylenol during pregnancy is now linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

A different family member called you to let you know, “they always knew there was something wrong with him.”

Another one let you know they had thought that (autism) was what was wrong with him, because they read about it on the Internet. And we all know everything we read on the Internet is true. And Google can diagnose anything. And using Google makes said family member an actual doctor. Feel free to roll your eyes right now.

Maybe they’re all trying to help. Maybe they’re just oblivious to the fact your world just crashed to the ground in a million pieces and they think somehow, some way, this information is going to help you.

But what it really comes down to is this: it’s not your fault.

No matter how many articles you read that link different things to be the possible causes of autism (vaccines, Tylenol, GMO’s, genetics, environment, etc.), nothing you did or didn’t do caused your baby to have it.

It’s completely natural and normal to sit and drown your sorrows in article after article about the possible causes of your baby’s Autism. We all want to know, right?

But what we really just need is support. Not people telling us how we may have given our children autism.

You didn’t give your child autism. It’s not your fault.

To all of the family members out there trying to be helpful by passing along information, please don’t. I can guarantee we already know this stuff. If you want to help us, do something to support us. Ask how we are. Come over to play with our children. Try to understand and have compassion for us and don’t be mad when we tell you that you will never truly understand what we are going through.

Most of all, never, ever tell us it’s our fault.

Because it’s not. It’s just not.

Want to end the stigma against disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Why I Think of My Grandmother Every Time I Put Boots On

My grandmother used to call me “Bootsie” because I refused to wear anything other than my sparkly pink cowboy boots when I was a kid. My insistence had a little bit to do with the fact that my family happened to be living in Texas at the time and a lot to do with my [...]

In 7,367 Minutes, I’ll Witness the Event That Made This Moment Possible

In just 122 hours, a year of preparation will all get put to the test. In 7,367 minutes, a group of 30 of the most talented, brave and amazing young women of Minnesota are going to be walking across a stage in gowns just as unique as the girls in them.  April 25 is the Minnesota [...]

I Asked If I Could Handle Being Her Mom. This Was the Answer I Needed.

I suppose it could’ve been worse. Over the years, I’ve told myself this when thinking back to July 20, 2007. Everything about my third pregnancy was normal, right down to a good strong heartbeat, a perfect ultrasound that showed 10 fingers and ten toes, and a baby that measured exactly as it should each week. [...]

Why I Choose to Call Myself a Cripple

I’m a cripple. Yes, I said it. I’m not the pathetic, broken person your mind may have conjured up when you read the word. I am a strong, adventurous, stubborn woman, who just so happens to have joints that can dislocate without warning. Eight years ago I was pretty healthy. I held a brown belt [...]