I’m a member of a huge parenting group on Facebook and being such a large group there are a lot of differing opinions. Most of the time I stay away from the more controversial topics because they tend to get very heated and I have enough drama going on in my life without getting involved in conflict on Facebook. Plus I find it rather sad, arguing on social media because of a difference of opinion. I mean, really? Who has time for that. Surely that kind of energy is better used elsewhere?
So while scrolling through my news feed something caught my eye. Someone from the aforementioned parenting group had posted this link:
As you can see from the link, there may be new research to suggest that autism could be linked to a Vitamin D deficiency.
This post not only caught my eye because my son very likely has autism, but also because after my third pregnancy, I discovered that I was severely deficient in vitamin D.
I know that my sons autism is more than likely due to the fact he has four genes missing from one of his chromosomes, but I was still interested in reading people’s opinions on this article so I clicked on the post and read some of the comments.
A few comments were as I expected with mums panicking and writing things like, “Oh no. I’m vitamin D deficient and now I’m really worried” and naturally quite a few mums took offence to some of these comments and asked, “what’s wrong with an autistic child? Why exactly would people need to take a pill to prevent it?”. Another mum stated that even if there were a magic pill to prevent it she wouldn’t want to use it because she loves her children just as they are, quirks and all, and while I appreciate what these mums were saying it also got me thinking. “What if there was a magic little pill to prevent autism”?
Firstly though I would like to answer the mums question on that particular post and say that as a mum with a child who more than likely has Autism, of course there is nothing wrong with an autistic child, or an autistic adult come to that, or any other person with any other disability, but if there were a magic pill to prevent it would I? Well at the risk of being flamed for my honesty, my answer would have to be yes.
Now before I go any further let me just say that I love my son more than words can say. I love him as much as any mother loves their child and I love everything about him. I smile when I see him lining his sandwiches up on the dinner table and I chuckle to myself when he repeats back every word I say, but there are times when he is extremely difficult to deal with. Like this morning when he was screaming at his sister to hold her spoon properly even though she already was and nothing I did or said calmed him down. Instead he pulled his clothes off like he does every time he has a meltdown down and I then had to spend the next half hour trying to calm him down and talk him into putting his school uniform back on.
My son gets extremely upset over things that you and I would find trivial and sometimes the more I try to comfort him the more worked up he becomes. I love my son more than life itself, but if I had the chance to take away his sensory issues, his anxiety, his need for control, and his social communication difficulties then I’d do it in a heartbeat.
My daughter has Congenital Hypothyroidism which was picked up via the newborn screening test (or heel prick test to those of us in the uk) and has been taking a tiny pill (levothyroxine) since she was 9 days old, without which she would almost certainly have severe intellectual disability and short stature.
There was never any question that my daughter would take this pill. It wasn’t a choice I was given by her pediatrician. I was just told that’s what I must do and quite rightly so. Why would I, as a parent, deny my child the chance to grow up typically and lead a normal life?
In the same way that my daughter takes a magical little pill to prevent the symptoms of Congenital Hypothyroidism, and in the same way that women take folic acid to prevent spina bifida (as mentioned in the above article) if there were a magic pill to prevent autism or even just reduce the symtoms of autism then fuck yeah, I’d take it and I wouldn’t feel one iota of guilt for doing so. Harry would still be Harry. Except maybe a little less anxious, a little less controlling, and almost certainly a lot more self-confident, and so while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having autism, there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with wishing there was a magic little pill so that perhaps my son could have the chance to develop typically and grow up to be as confident and happy as he deserves to be.
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