Me and Jacob

Me and Jacob

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Causes of Autism

    Whenever the subject of autism comes up, it never fails that someone in the conversation is going to ask my opinion of what causes it. Some speculate vaccinations while other's think it's genetics, environment or both. I really have no idea what my opinion is on this subject. I always struggle to answer their questions straight forwards. Jacob was always different, even as a baby, before he had vaccinations. I used to rack my brains trying to figure out what I did wrong or what the the doctor did wrong or what does society need to do to change the rise in autism. We fight for a cure, we search for answers and we ponder what our children would be like if they were "normal."
    While all of these questions are valid, I decided to give up the fight a long time ago.  Not that I'm not continuing to fight for Jacob, but I decided to lay down my armor and be content with my life. I was driving myself into depression trying to answer the questions of why and how. I was allowing Satan to feed me lies about Jacob and myself as a mother. The problem with continuing to ask these questions is you get into a pity party for yourself, and others. You start to focus on everything that is going wrong and not looking at all the blessings.
     I went to the zoo with a friend yesterday and while we were there, one of her four children kept asking "what's next mommy", "when are we gonna see the ________??" (fill in the blank) As we were walking, he asked again. She kindly knelt down, looked into his sweet, excited eyes and said, "If you continue to always look at what is behind or what is ahead, you will always miss what's right in front of you." What a great lesson for all of us!!
     On the way home from the zoo, the subject of autism came up and that famous question was asked of me again. "What do you think causes autism?" Again I was stumped for words and I never gave her a simple concrete answer. Autism isn't simple and a simple answer just won't suffice. We talked almost the whole way home about Jacob, autism and life with a special needs child. I guess that conversation will always follow me. I'm starting to think that I could have the entire conversation while I am asleep.
     We got home and I began to think about our day together and what a wonderful time we had. I remembered the lesson that she was trying to get across to her 4 year old and I began to put it into context for my life. If I continue to worry and wonder about why Jacob has autism or if I continue to overly pursue his future and worry about it, then I will miss everything that Jacob is accomplishing right now. He's growing and accomplishing so much that I don't want to take for granted everything that God wants to teach me through this moment in my life. This moment is what counts because it's the building block for Jacob's future.

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