With autism rates skyrocketing, it’s no wonder researchers are desperately trying to figure out what causes the developmental disorder. As a result of so many studies, moms can’t sneeze without someone determining it as a potential cause of autism.
The most recent controversial study has found a correlation between circumcision and autism. Researchers in Denmark found that if boys were circumcised before the age of 5, it doubled the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.
These extremely speculative findings could be the next vaccine snafu. While parents certainly have the right to choose whether or not they leave their son intact after birth, doctors believe circumcision reduces the spread of disease. The last thing moms need is another autism study making wild claims against a widespread, safe medical practice.
For those keeping track at home, circumcision now joins the ranks of other autism “causes,” including having an epidural, getting sick while pregnant, having gestational diabetes, induced labor, having dental fillings, giving kids the wrong food, taking Tylenol, stressing out, using deodorant and genetic predisposition. Until hard evidence exists and researchers have a clear understanding of what causes developmental and neurological disorders in children, moms shouldn’t have to deal with the pressure of feeling like they caused or might cause a child to have autism.
As the mother of a child with Asperger’s syndrome, I absolutely understand the impulse to find out why. But that quickly turns into “what did I do wrong?”
Instead of focusing on a mom’s choices and on wild claims, why don’t we look at what we know to be toxic in our environment? Researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff recently cautioned against the use of herbicides like Roundup, making the startling claim that in 10 years, as many as half of children born could develop an autism spectrum disorder. Kids are being overprescribed antibiotics at alarming rates, influencing a frightening trend that researchers say could lead to more people dying from superbugs than any other cause. We know all kids — not just kids on the spectrum — are being exposed to toxins from sources beyond parents’ control. Shouldn’t that be where research is focused?
We need to stop shaming moms and blaming them for autism rates. I know exactly how moms’ decisions impact autism in children. I’ve seen the moms who bring their children to therapy appointments, who drive hours at a time to see specialists, who carefully document symptoms, who remain patient and loving in the face of adversity, who embrace their children and the concept of neurodiversity. Moms aren’t causing autism, they’re meeting it head-on — and they’re doing exactly what kids need.