Blaming Myself

I’m not going to lie. I have had some very hard days as an autism mom. Days when my heart breaks as I see Moose struggle with things that come naturally to other children. And on the really dark days, it’s very easy to blame myself for Moose’s troubles. You see, it seems that every time I turn around there’s a new theory out there as to what causes autism, as researchers desperately try to figure why this has become so prevalent in our society. And many of these theories blame the mother…something that was wrong with her, or something she did while pregnant.

My head knows that all these theories can’t possibly all be true, that people are grasping at any correlation they can find in hopes that they can identify the cause of autism and stop the spread of it. My brain knows that someday, they may actually find the cause and discover that it has nothing to do with any of the previous theories. But that sick feeling in my gut can’t help but blame myself on those dark days.

But. Thanks be to God! Those dark days don’t come around very often. Moose is a constant source of joy and endless surprises in my life, and those are the thoughts that take up most of my days. He’s smart, funny, and interesting. He works unbelievably hard, and also enjoys having fun. He is not a lost cause that has no future. He will find his place in the world in spite of his autism, or maybe even because of it. He loves numbers and is great at math…perhaps one day he will be an accountant. He also loves baseball, so maybe he will find joy as a statistician. He is quite talented at drawing, so he could find work as an illustrator. He has other focused interests, as well…yes, you could probably them obsessions, but they may hold the key to his future vocation.

Yes, there are hard days. But what parent doesn’t face the occasional hard day with each one of their children? There are times of blame and self-doubt, probably more than most parents of neuro-typical children have, but those days are the exception, not the rule. Tomorrow, science, or an over-zealous quack, may have a new reason that Moose’s autism is my fault, and even though I try not to, I may find out about it. I may even have a bad day, and wonder what I did wrong, and how I could have done it differently. But tomorrow is just one of many days, and tomorrow doesn’t dictate how I will live my life. Even if tomorrow is a bad day, the day after tomorrow will be a great one!

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