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To the People Who Send Me Articles About What Causes Autism

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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.

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Originally published: April 22, 2015
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