Why is my son like this?

Posted on: February 10, 2012

I think that if a parent of a child with Autism was given one question to ask & be guaranteed an answer… most parents would ask…
Why has my child got Autism?

I thought I’d take you back to the very beginning with A.

A, was due to arrive on the 2nd June 2008. He was born on the 12th by emergency caesarean section. I’d never experienced more pain in my life, my birth – for me – was an horrific experience.

I’m barely 5ft tall & A, was measured at being ‘a big baby’ he is my first & only child. I was offered a c-section when the midwives first realised A was going to be quite big. I didn’t give an answer there and then and that’s the last I heard of it.

After a practically trouble-free pregnancy, my due date arrived, no sign of A. I already had an appointment date to go to the hospital, the 10th. That day arrived, I went & they told me to come back the next day to be induced.

I was induced with pessary gels. Luckily for me the first one worked. My sister came to visit me & told me to get into a hot bath so my waters would pop. I did and they popped, so down to the delivery suite for me.

Paracetamol, Gas and air, pethidine an epidural, a horrible midwife & hours of pain later I was told I would have to endure the pain until morning as I was full dilated & they couldn’t see the babies head. I’d have to wait for the doctor to arrive to have a c-section.

I was more or less out of it…..around 9am, 15 hours after labour began, I was taken down to theatre & after a failed forceps attempt, which I can only describe as sheer hell & unimaginable pain. My epidural was topped up & an emergency c-section was performed. A was born a healthy 8lb 5oz, his head was covered in bruises, lumps & cuts, I would provide a picture but even I can’t look at it.

Did this experience cause my son to have Autism? The answer is, I don’t know?

There are lots of different theories as to what causes Autism, the most believed being the MMR vaccination amongst many others.

Its important for me to point out that there is no scientifically proven reason as to what causes Autism…

But it is a question which haunts us all and causes so much anxiety.

I hope one day it will be answered.

Please remember….

There is NO CURE for Autism.

I would love to hear other parents theories of what they believe to have caused their childs Autism, please comment below.


12 Responses to "Why is my son like this?"

Hi there, I’ve just found your blog via Twitter, glad to have found it. It’s amazing how much we have in common. I have one child as well, a little girl of 8 with PDD NOS.

I had a difficult pregnancy due to having to have had my gallbladder removed at 15 weeks, but otherwise it was a normal pregnancy. On delivery, I also had a terrible midwife and my labor progressed really slowly (after 8 hours, still only at 1 cm). At the hospital they put me in a hot bath to break my water (which it did) to try and speed up the labor after 1 hour they gave me pitocin to speed things up. I had a failed vacuum experience which was horrifying and only after that and 22 hours of labor which went no where they finally decided to do a c-section.

I’ve never wondered if the labor itself had an influence on my daughter that way but I have wondered about the connection between ultrasound and autism. There are studies going on but no conclusions. Because of my gallbladder issues and the fact that for one month I could not eat (and dropped 35 pounds despite being 2 months pregnant), they gave me tons of ultrasounds to monitor the baby’s growth in the womb and I’ve always wondered if so many ultrasounds have had an impact on my daughter and are somehow responsible for her autism.

I don’t know what your son’s situation is or how long you have had autism in your life but although I have questions about all these things I don’t spend too much time plaguing myself with what caused it but focus more on what I can do to help my daughter because however she got autism, she has it and there is no cure.

Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to reading more of your blog and hope you will think about reading mine.

This is the most heartbreaking thing about autism in my opinion. The endless questions and pouring over memories of pregnancy, birth and every other part of their life looking for a clue. As parents we need to know that it’s not our fault. Dylan and his twin were born event free and very healthy at 37 weeks. I had a really good pregnancy and birth. D thrived and gained weight quickly, he was alert and responsive as a baby. At 5 weeks old we were out shopping and it was going dusk, I’d just put the twins in their pushchair and I noticed D’s face looked funny.. I quickly said to my husband lets get them inside D doesn’t look right. We went to the nearest shop and my heart stopped.. D was completely blue! He’d stopped breathing! My husband quickly pulled him out of the pushchair and was rubbing his cheeks trying to rouse him but he was completely limp and lifeless. All I could do was scream! I was totally useless, I couldn’t even look at him. Someone called for an ambulance and someone else was running to neighbouring shops looking for a first aider, meanwhile D was just dying in his dads arms. Thankfully a security guard from next door came to and managed to resuscitate him.. I owe him the world! Then the paramedics arrived, Dylan started to breath and the colour came back in his cheeks but he was also bleeding from the nose and mouth. It was the worst day of my whole life! 4-5 minutes he was out for but it felt like hours. The doctors have no idea what caused it and said it was just one of those things. D made a full recovery.. Or did he? The doctor cannot give us a definite answer as to whether or not this caused his autism. I believe it did, I hate not knowing for sure though. But it’s amazing how much them few minutes have changed our lives forever! But at least I still have him, regardless of the hard work we have to put in I’d rather have an autistic Dylan than not have him at all xx

There are so many theories out there of what causes Autism but in K’s case my answer is simple. It was a fluke. Just like his down syndrome. We were young parents so we went for genetic counseling to see what could have caused his DS and we were told it was a “fluke”. Part of the 13th chromosome broke off and attached itself to the 21st, hence the DS. (Trisomy 21) Apparently, the 13th chromosome is associated with developmental delays, and Autism, among other things (including Alzheimers which is a huge fear of mine for K). In the long run, we may never find out what caused it, but we are all becoming experts at dealing with it!

To be honest i never go there, it won’t change anything and would maybe make us feel guilt that would make it harder than it already is.

I agree, it is hard to go there but knowledge is power. Knowing the cause for me would help me make the agonising decision on whether to have another child. They say it’s hereditary but like in my case for example it could be brain injury that’s the cause.

I’m sure like many other ASD parents I’ve cried rivers over the why’s and how’s of an ASD diagnosis BUT the overiding feeling… Relief!! J progressed as ‘normal’ to start with, a few words before 12mths old, would say ‘all gone’ at meal times when he didn’t want to eat anymore, ‘row, row, row your boat’ and ‘inkle inkle….star’ – than it stopped – all of it. At 14mths I expressed concern to health visitor, we got diagnosis at 5yrs. All the time between I thought it was my fault, ALL. MY. FAULT. – my parents helped in this as they decided speech and interaction delay was everything from recurring ear infections to blame to my having PND and not talking to J enough, also to really drive the point home it was questioned whether the breakdown of my relationship with his father had ’caused’ the problems as he was in a frosty enviroment!!! All sounds ridiculous now doesn’t it?! But back then I almost needed it to be my fault then maybe I could put it right….. At 10yrs old J is my hero, my bestest mate and just the best son I could ever have dreamed/wished for… No he’s not ‘perfect’, dodges soap, moans about going to bed, all typical stuff but he’s the kindest and – at times inadvertently – the funniest cheekiest little monkey….. all with ASD. I don’t feel the need to know the cause of this anymore and boy do I feel free letting that go…. We know we’ve got a continuous battle for acceptance and understanding but we’re strong and as I always tell him we’re a team, we can take on the world….. xx

L, I have to say that what you have described is very similar to R’s birth. It was a long and difficult labour. After 16hrs and 2 failed attempts at suction, my wife was then brought down to theatre for a c-section. Whilst in theatre, it was discovered that R was too far down the birth canal and was also OP. This meant he had to be delivered by forceps. I am crying now just thinking of the way he looked for the first few days of his wee life. His head was very bruised and misshapen. In fact, Mrs S is so traumatised she cannot bear to think about it or look at photos.
It is a wonder that we went on to have baby no 2 whose birth was much easier than R’s.
The swelling on R’s head went down after a few days but by then R was screaming non-stop. I have to say that we tried everything to help him, changing bottles, feeds etc. but nothing worked. He cried for 9 months solid and then eventually settled down.

Mrs S blames herself for the difficult birth and R’s Autism but I can’t help wonder if it has anything to do with the failed suction and forceps delivery!!!

I think like every parent of an ASD child, I’ve often felt the guilt that it is something I did wrong. Was it something did or didn’t do in pregnancy? Was it something during the birth (a planned c section). In reality I think my son’s ASD is genetic, as since I’ve learnt more about the condition, I have been diagnosing my family left right & centre!
However, the most important thing I’ve learnt 2 years after his diagnosis is not to waste energy focusing on what I can’t change, but like every mum of an ASD child, appreciate my lovely little boy & fight for the right support for him to achieve in life.

tristyn had cord wrapped around neck 3x at birth. I think it had something to do with his pddnos. iv heard lately Asd has less electrical function in western part of brain? Maybe lack of o2 didnt help

I wonder if C’s birth caused his autism too. he was in distress, with the cord wrapped tight around his neck, swallowed meconium and wasnt breathing when he arrived, but he perked up in the labour room with just oxygen, but did later have to have his stomach pumped becuase of the meconium. Who knows, but it’s definately a possibilty xx

I think the “why’s” of autism bothered my ex so much and that is why we divorced. After services began I was too busy to worry about “why,” and instead moved to how to help my two ASD kids. Now with so many blessings in our lives, the “why” is complex. I believe the autism diagnoses added to our lives, creating so many unforeseen blessings that we have now, from friends and community to my kids’ increasing skills. I take nothing for granted. Every day is a blessing. Why? Because love wins.

My older son was prematurely born and after he got diagnosed with Autism I couldn’t help but think about that as a cause. After asking the doctors (and googling it) I found that “they” believe it’s more the other way round. That autism can cause premature birth and in my case, they never found any viable reason for why he was born prematurely. So as for now I guess premature birth was not the cause.

With my younger boy, I had a rare condition called “Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy”. I don’t think I had it with my older boy but in short, it can cause miscarriage at the last weeks of pregnancy. For the mother it’s mainly uncomfortable (you itch like crazy!) but not dangerous. I got medicated and my son was born at 39w4d, perfectly healthy. This is the only thing I can think of.

But since they are both autistic (the younger one isn’t diagnosed yet but we are pretty sure) we have started to think more towards genetic matters. However, no one in our extended families has the condition so we’re starting to think it might be our genetic combination.

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