How did my son get autism? I've been doing a ton of research the past couple of days. I'm attempting to gather information for a fundraiser I want to put together in 2011. Right now I'm piled onto the couch with paper work, books, my laptop, my autistic son and his iPad. He is playing a puzzle game that he loves and every few seconds he giggles uproariously and looks to me for approval. I love it!
I've been reading the book "Mother Warriors" By Jenny McCarthy. Wow, what an amazing read. Its been eye opening to so many aspects to this journey that I never realized. Things that I feel silly for never realizing. Such as I've always wondered why Grady has good moments during the year and then such bad moments, where he seems to loose all of the progress he's made and go back to square one. When an autistic child gets sick, their immune systems can take a huge hit. Everything goes to fighting the cold or flu and this means they can end up back on square one because their bodies are now tired from the battle they just fought.
This book is massively against vaccines. I plan on talking about this in the future but as I read about the con's of placing your children on massive doses of mercury, I stopped. I dropped. I rolled. Ha ha! My brain rolled rather. I felt very strongly about vaccinations from the very beginning. I knew that boys were more likely to have autism then girls. I knew that vaccines were highly linked to autism.
So from day one, Grady did not receive one vaccination. I'm so grateful for this choice now. If perhaps he had had the vaccines, I wonder how much worse his autism would be. But this is where my brain did not compute. How then, where, why? If vaccines were the reason behind autism...my thoughts traveled. The book continued. Many stories linked to vaccines, yes. But then there were stories linked to illnesses. I thought hard. Grady was very sick at his first Christmas. He was five months old. Double ear infection, severe roto virus, severe dehydration, hospitalized over New Years. I remember so distinctly because I got lectured by the ER doctor for not having my son vaccinated.
However, I don't believe this lent itself to my son's autism. Grady was autistic from the beginning. He would lay in his bouncer and stare at the fan. He was fascinated with wheels on cars and rarely played with toys. Lights were amazing to him. No, my son was born autistic. I distinctly remember starring at my preemie son in his incubator, going over the things in my head that I said I could never do. "I could never have a tiny baby. I could never take home a baby on a heart monitor. And I could never have a child with autism." As my first two fears starred me in the face, I gulped. It was as if I knew even back then, as my three pound baby lay there, it was happening. I had heard that preemie's stood an even higher chance of having autism. Grady was 9.5 weeks early, weighing in at 3 pounds 14 ounces and measuring 15 inches long. He dropped 14 ounces during his 28 NICU stay and then beefed up so we could bring a 4 pound baby home. Ha Ha!
So while my son didn't have vaccinations, his stressful start into this world had already chosen his path. I take that back. God had chosen his path. He is an amazing boy and even though most days are a struggle, Grady is so strong. Determined. Stubborn. Creative. Inspirational. So no matter HOW this foe made its way into our midst, I'm ready to fight it, tooth and nail.