Tuesday, March 25, 2014

For Their Own Good

I had another thought today about how "Frozen" relates to autism. In the film, Elsa and Anna's parents are obviously very loving and concerned about them. And yet, their love and concern leads them to psychologically abuse both daughters, with resultant trauma for each.

I don't want to point fingers at other parents. No one knows better than I do how hard it is to have so much at stake -- your children's entire future -- and yet have so very little idea of what's the best thing to do or whose advice to trust. I confess here that we stopped vaccinating for years, and if my son had died or been a carrier that caused someone else's death, it would have been all my fault. I'm very lucky not to bear that burden, but I bore the burden of fearing that my child's vaccinations had caused his autism for some time.

Thankfully, science was able to remove that particular burden from me. But it's left us hanging in a lot of other ways. The only "proven" -- and subsequently, the only covered -- therapy is ABA. My son's ABA therapy was a stress nightmare for the entire family, but it still took a long time for us to pull the plug.

Every decision I make for my son is surrounded by fear and uncertainty. Will this help him or make his life worse? Should I be sacrificing his immediate well being for the sake of his future? What is the line between "for his own good" and abuse?

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