Just 'cause it rained after you put the washing out, doesn't mean you made it rain

Correlation does not imply causation

I have been wary of discussing a certain ex-Medical Doctor and his faked and fraudulent evidence to prove that Autism was caused by toxicicity of anything a parent may have done to protect their child from preventable diseases. Not because I ever believed it - no Sirree! I have two beautiful and very healthy children who happen to have Autism.
But because any discussion of the above topic will usually bring on a hail of Trolls whose only mission in life seems to be to believe just about anything that cannot be proved. The Earth is flat, and it was made by a Guy riding a Cloud in 7 days, and You Know What causes Autism - they believe it.

I can see where the myth starts, and for that I forgive the parents who were bamboozled into believing it.
People talk about Autism "kicking in" suddenly at the age of 18 months or so. They also talk about "Degenerative Autism" which is not a real thing. What they are experiencing is actually increasing visible coping behaviours that come as a result of lack of intervention.

I mean, if you don't do anything about an ingrown toenail - you can probably expect it to get worse. But get it diagnosed, get it treated and you will find that your toe starts to improve. And it will not have to be chopped off.
By the same token, get a diagnosis, get a referral for the appropriate evidence based interventions to support sensory issues, communication and life skills - and you will find that "The Autism" stops 'degenerating" - and you can see your child as an interesting little person who is worth getting to know and understand.

Because if you see your child as a person to be respected and understood, you are less likely to spend their valuable resources of tolerance on quackery and uncomfortable "cures."
A few years ago I was trapped in a Parents Meeting and forced to listen to a woman telling us that that the reason her son giggled on the way to school in the morning was because of "all the yeast"

When I could see by the state of her that it was probably more to do with her shoes. And hair. I mean, if this was the way she dressed to present at a Parents Meeting, imagine how she looked on the School Run?
I would be pissing myself laughing every morning too.

Of course, when this woman had put her son through Homeopathic Yeast Extraction Therapy or whatever hogwash she was promoting (I chewed through my own leg to get out of the meeting so I missed the rest of it) she would have Credited the snake oil for her son's "cure" - and completely ignored the months of incremental improvements achieved by his dedicated and patient teachers and tutors in that school that he giggled his way into each morning.

It is easy to try and believe that whatever you have invested the most into; is what has worked - but the truth is often somewhere in between.

And you should also be ready to accept that a lot of it is down to YOU spending a lot more time learning about your child and getting to know and understand them.  

And nothing to do with the Dolphins, Diets, Mongolian Horsemen or Plinky Plonk therapy that cost you €5,000.

Now I have to go put out the washing - Or not,  it looks like rain! xx


Truf said…
Shall we set the nutter counter?
Anonymous said…
So true! And a really good analogy :-)
Petunia said…
Never a truer word spoken missus. I may stop procrastinating and do my post on Munchkins amazing developmental leap that she had AFTER getting the MMR at 4...
Casdok said…
Ive been to those same parent meetings!

As with any child the best thing you can do is spend time.

Not looking for something to blame
kathleen said…
Wait...you mean there wasn't a guy riding a cloud?? I have to go rethink my purpose now...

Well said-sorry if you do attract some trolls with it...if you do get a backlash of horrid comments-just imagine their shoes and hair! :)
Anonymous said…
Well said, such an enjoyable read.
Jean said…
I've been having a shit day, and you really made me laugh.
Hey, d'ya JK Rowling was inspired by Dr Unmentionable re "he-who-shall-not-be-named" ?
I find this topic very difficult to comment on as many of the (very genuine) people who helped me help Smiley certainly believed that their children suddenly developed autism at 18 months for whatever reason. As you say perhaps they didn't understand the true nature of autism and how it develops.
Clive said…
Brillant! Couldn't agree more with all you said!

Do you know there is a film on that Mongolian horse cure!! Incredibly to think such rubbish will make millions!
Lisamaree said…
Truf: I am screening!

Anonymous - you know how much I love an analogy!

Petunia: you should write a book, you will make squillions!

Cas: funny how Good taste can skip some people?

Kathleen: No as everyone knows"I Dream of Jeannie" blinked Adam and Eve and all the animals including the Dinosaurs out of her bottle....

Sinead: thankyou. Happy to help

Jean: Seriously? EXCELLENT!

Candi: I don't blame parents. I think that many have such a delay in acceptance because people, and by people I mean LAWYERS are looking for a "smoking gun" to explain autism and have someone to sue. A Class Action was demonstrably behind the Weinnerfield case.
Of course, if our Health and Education Services made adequate provisions for people with Autism the "smoking gun" would be less of an imperative. and People could get early interventions, the right support, and not be holding out for a Class Action that actually delays their child's development for many years.
As a woman said on the news tonight - she would gladly swap the settlement for the mishandling of her son's birth 4 times over if only he could kick a ball.
Lisamaree said…
Clive: that Mongolian Horse Film will set us all back years! unfortunately my script about a plucky special needs mother of two that develops an App that helps (but not cures) her autistic daughter starring Naomi Watts* and Gabriel Byrne has yet to be picked up by Hollywood.....
I guess I should have introduced a Dolphin at some point...


* I would consider Nicole Kidman if is she would stop using Botox and Sculptra
Truf said…
Actually I think the diet believers may be onto something. Too many people have both ASD and gluten intolerance in the family (including us), and after all both conditions are down to genes. I am not sayng GF diet will "cure" ds, but I could well imagine it will make him less "fuzzy" (his words). I'd like more studies on this before depriving him of food groups though!
sharon Morris said…
Perfectly captured my feelings on this topic. For my sins I have subjected myself to following a warrior mummy blog in an effort to see and maybe understand what treatments these 'cure' types subject their kids to. And how they explain the progress or lack thereof in their kids. It's a morbid curiosity to be sure. This mother has used chelation, and currently uses homeopathic remedies of all sorts (I assume endorsed by her DAN Dr). She makes continual claims of his improvements, yet never mentions the ABA I also know she uses, because she told me once when I expressed some concern for her son. So as his symptoms become less debilitating she shouts out to alt medicine, and rejoices in the power of voodoo. It drives me bonkers.
jazzygal said…
Absolutely agree Hammie...and you made me laugh. Out loud!

I know what you mean about whacky therapies and diets and stuff. I've looked at a few in the past, in desperation. And yet I now find myself looking at diet again for WiiBoy. Not as a cure...God no. All the "incremantal interventions" have seen to his huge leaps and bounds. No, I'm now looking to diet and a consultant with regard to severe bloating/constipation. Which has always been there. There has to be a connection between that and Autism.

xx Jazzy
Tin-foil mom said…
This is a very narrow minded post, because I have seen people use biomed for autism and have amazing results. I think it is fair to say you don't believe we can recover our children, and most people don't believe it. But I would like to share this:
When my youngest daughter was born she looked as perfect as any other newborn. With that being said I knew within hours of her being born that "something" wasn't right. I had no reason to feel this way, but it was just a gut feeling. Gabby had really bad acid reflux, she would vomit any formula I gave her, and she never slept very long. As time went on I started to notice all she did was cry, the doctor claimed it was colic. As she grew a little more I noticed she never really had any interest in her toys. She seemed to hit all her developmental milestones on time and the doctor said she would out grow her "temper", and crying fits. As time progressed I noticed she really had not attempted to speak like my other girls did. People assured me she was fine and I shouldn't compare one child to the other, "she is just a late talker". I started to believe I was looking for something that wasn't there. I spoke to her doctor time after time but nothing became of it. At this point she was 16 months old, she could walk and she would say about 2-3 words. I would take her into a store and she would scream and scream, birthday parties, restaurants all the same thing. At 18 months old the "fits" had gotten worse to the point she started banging her head, everything seemed to upset her, people she didn't know terrified her (not there presence so much but rather there ability to make eye contact). Her vocabulary was up to about 5-7 words at this point, but these words were not used daily. I decided I might just be crazy but I needed help, and fast. I choose to contacted our local birth-three program. They come out to my home and did find she showed some developmental delays but it was to soon to know if she had autism. I knew she had autism, I had spent endless hours researching it. I chose to slowly removed red and blue dyes, and high fructose sugars from her diet... the banging of the head stopped and she gained 6 words in 2 days... not bad for a child that only acquired a 15 word vocabulary which she didn't use daily (and a child that had a regression in her speech). If that wasn't a sign I don't know what was. I then chose to remove gluten and casein. I also took my daughter to a Holistic Practitioner. This practitioner has studied extensively all areas of Naturopathic Medicines, including Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition. A Bio Energetic Testing was done on her, a form of Electro Diagnosis, which utilizes a computer to evaluate 30 different systems of the body and is capable of testing over 13,000 bits of information in the body. I learned her gut along with so many other things were a mess in her body (a lot of children with autism have GI problems, diarrhea, constipation, and/or acid reflux.) These children have a hard time breaking down food, and absorbing the nutrients. There brains don't get the nutrients it needs to work properly. Because of this children don't have the immunity other children do and there for they are unable to fight off toxins that would not affect most people.
Tin-foil mom said…
I finally had her tested three days before her second birthday, and she was diagnosed PDD. The developmental pediatrician shared that she doesn't have the facts to prove diet change and supplements work, and that over all she has never been a supporter because of the lack of research. She also stated that diet change and supplements clearly worked for my daughter and she showed remarkable changes, she advised me to keep doing what I was doing. My daughter takes 15 supplements from fish oil to herbal remedies. With these changes she no longer bangs her head, she doesn't have diarrhea, and her social skill are 75% better. She now says about 60 words. Friends, family doctors, and EVEN MYSELF are amazed by the changes. I guess it's fair to say that maybe those women that you put down may be onto something. This doesn't work for everyone, but being close minded isn't going to help your child either. I just feel unless you have tried it and can prove it doesn't work, you should knock the ones that have.
Lisamaree said…
Tinfoil Mum: I can see by your blog that you do respect your children as individuals and have enjoyed getting to know them. My disrespect for BadShoes woman is based on her inability to enjoy her son's sense of humor and look for the joke - because she just saw him as "An Autism" who needed to have a long uncomfortable treatment of yeast extraction via rectal.

But If there is one thing that we all learn as parents or potential parents - you cannot judge another without their experience. My kids did not develop normally from DAY ONE - actually before birth as Grace was breech and refused to turn so there she was defying me and everyone else from the womb and it hasn't changed.

What has changed is my understanding and appreciation of autism and the tiny incremental improvements and disimprovements that happen as a result of everything we do. If my kids had gut problems, I would do something about it. They don't and NEVER HAVE mmokay?

What infruitates me about the curebies is that without a double blind, peer reviewed study, they are sure that it is the one thing that the Special Defeat Autism Doctor is doing that is making the difference.

Not the hundreds of things that you do behaviourally and environmentally to support and enhance the quality of life of your entire family and your child's own development. How do you separate this without taking independent data and having it peer reviewed and replicated?

Don't you ever have doubts? Don't you ever say to yourself - I am putting my self through hell here with elimination this and extraction that and think, Why is it that my kids still have a Sensory Disorder that distorts everything they hear, see, feel, touch, taste and smell?

don't you ever wish you could give them and you a break and just eat a cookie?

Ease up on yourself. Every little helps.


And for the record: Bratty has never used Shampoo but she is still as Autistic as the day is long.
(she just has kind of wild hair)
Lisamaree said…
ps. Please don't ever use the "Recover" word on my blog comments. My children are here, they are different but they are most certainly not lost and in need of being Recovered.
My sofa will however need to be re-covered and the odd socks that get lost in the duvet cover might be recovered some day. That word does not apply to human beings.

I breastfed both my kids for 12 months PLUS - so maybe that is why I did not have any of these food intolerances. And I am so glad I did. Once less thing to beat myself up about heh?
Tin-foil mom said…
Hammie please do not feel I am personal attacking you, because that is not my intention. I feel we can agree to disagree, right?
My feels are that you feel people that try to clean out the body are putting there kids through unnecessary torch. I guess I can see that by looking through a window and not have seen this work for your self.
My friends son is low functioning autistic and she is VERY big into biomed. She has given her son, B12 shots... within hours of having the shots her son said 2 new words.
My husband's cousin is also low functioning they had him tested for metals, the results came back VERY high. She did metal detox to him, and within days his teachers were talking about the "AMAZING" changes in him. He was able to focus, he didn't stim as much..
Why is it that when I slowly removed red and blue dyes, and high fructose sugars from her diet, the banging of the head stopped and she gained 6 words in 2days... are all these just because ABA kicked in? We are not talking about changes over weeks. These changes took place either with hours or the following 3 DAYS. You are right, there isn't large amounts of research to prove that this works, but there is research. Doctor's are not making money if you get changes from diet change and restoring natural balance. Like I said not ALL children have GI problems, not ALL children see results with biomed, but a LARGE amount do. Just like NOT ALL children are born with autism. I am not a new mother, I had 2 daughter and 2 step daughter before my little Gabby was born. I truly believe Gabby was born with GI problems, her body wasn't able to absorb the food properly and it weakened her immune system. She hit all her development milestone, on time or even early. But for the lack of nutrients her body was not able to fight off common hazards. I am not saying she received a vaccine and now has autism. I am saying from the snowball of vaccines, BPA bottles, common environmental toxins,ex is where autism slowly developed. Gabby was losing speech that she had acquired, and with supplements, and YEAST treatment she has pick up 45 words in 2 months. This is a child that had no sensation to pain when she fell, she would get a cut and never cry. Now if I bush her hair hard she says ouch... You can not be taught to FEEL pain! She has no sense of smell. If I put something foal in front of her she would eat it, even non food items. She now doesn't eat anything non food related and she turns he noise up to yucky smells...... :)
Tin-foil mom said…
Your quote- (Don't you ever have doubts? Don't you ever say to yourself - I am putting my self through hell here with elimination this and extraction that and think, Why is it that my kids still have a Sensory Disorder that distorts everything they hear, see, feel, touch, taste and smell?)
Don't we all have doubts, don't we all second guess our self when we are making like altering changes???

You are also right this diet change is hard, but really I am not neglecting her she is able to be a kid, I am making choice I feel with impact her long term. She gets a cookie, it just costs me $6 dollars a box! She gets a lollipop it's just organic with no artificial flavors, or dyes...
I don't care how hard it is on me, I put ME to the side a long time ago. It all how I can make my children the best they are able to be... (That's any parents not just a parent with a child with autism).
This is what I mean everyone is so quick to knock parents but we all have the same goal, to help are children the best we know how. If you google candida you will find yeast is a really problem not for children with autism but it contributes to irritable bowel syndrome among many other things.
Lastly I want to touch on the usage of words such as recover and joke...
When I speak of recovery I don't mean taking my kid to the washer, brushing out the imperfections and taking home a nice new shiny model. When I say recover, I bringing a child to their full potential... if high functioning is your child's best then you have recovered your child to being their best ( that's all any parent wants). If a child has a meltdown every time you speak to them, or can't look at you when you call their name, how are you going to get to fully bond with them?? If a child has no interest in playing and is non verbal, how to you get to know them all the way down to their soul??
Now to the word JOKE, we all need to sit back and make humor over life's experience otherwise we would break. I am a jokester, I can make anything funny, but there is nothing funny about autism. These children are lost within their own bodies. So as you are laughing they are staring out the window :(
We all need to come together, share our stories, we can learn so much from each other, and when needed we can agree that it's okay to disagree. If we bash each other and make clicks then, we are making up teams, and gearing up for battle. I respect your opinions, because you are making choices you feel are in YOUR child's best interest.. and that's all we can ask of each other.
PS I didn't proof read this so if there are any error I am sorry :)
Tin-foil mom said…
I hope you don't mind.. I shared your blog on my blog http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fgabbyspuzzlepiece.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F01%2Four-opinions-are-different-but-in-end.html%3Fspref%3Dfb&h=7859e
I think it's great that even though our views are at different ends of the spectrum... in the end what we want is the same.... to be the best parent we can
Lisamaree said…
Okay TF Mum, I didn't take it personally> I admire your dedication.

But two things to consider:

1. Your daughter could feel pain before her treatment - what she didn't understand was the need to express it. A lot of people think that autism humans have a high pain threshold. But the truth is that they lack the understanding of the need to express something socially in order to have someone do something about it. Consider the difference between Man-Flu and Normal Flu. Men are much better at expressing that they are ill and acting like they are dying by lying on the couch in an old dressing gown and watching bad television.
Women have a tendency to just get on with it. Which does them no good. Read my previous post on "Tell me where it hurts" for more.

2. Find some time for yourself. When your kids start to catch up on their developmental delay, they are going to find you a much more interesting person if you have spent some time indulging yourself. Go out with your friends for coffee or better still Prosecco and have a laugh. Go Thrifting -Shopping - challenge yourself to put a whole new look together.

It is not selfish to take time for the self because it makes you a happier person - And as they say in the Loreal commercials "Because You're Worth it"

Nick McGivney said…
Yep. I too am with the Prosecco Party. We promise to abolish taxes and reintroduce that tipsy feeling that the people love. Vote for me and it's hello bubbles, goodbye trubbles!

Yes, and peace and understanding amongst different viewpoints and all that. Now. Anyone a bottle opener?
Make Do Style said…
I love these posts of yours - I think they are spot on for all things to do with kids!!

I once had to share a train carriage with a stupid mother who had taken her kids to a private hospital to have all the jabs separately.

I really wanted to laugh at her. I wish I had laughed because then she would have had to ask why.

Surely you'd rather get your kids vaccinated in one go and not make out they are 'precious' beyond and spend the money on a manicure or something. Who are these people!

Love you as always
Good blog: You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned:) makeup artist Sydney