OK, a bit of a rant this time. I’ve been told on a number of occassions that ADD is caused by bad parenting. I can only hope that my own ADD*** child was so beautifuly behaved at that moment that it didn’t occur to the speaker that I happened to be one of those people. Every time it’s happened, I’ve been so dumbfounded that I couldn’t speak. So, now I’m speaking.
Side note – I hate the term ADD – My son can attend, he’s not deficient or disabled – but for the purposes of this rant, I’ll use the term, as that is what he’d be labled if he were in the school system.
Children who are on the spectrum, whether they are ADD or Aspergers or Autistic or who have sensory issues, are neurologically different from the majority of the population. They think completely differently, their brains are wired differently, they learn differently. But, this is not a disease. I did not cause it by eating the wrong things while pregnant, not disciplining enough, by letting him watch too much television, living to close to hydro wires, using formula….oh – the list of possible things I might have done is endless. As are the scientific studies showing the negative affects of any of the above. Kind of like those studies that claim that red wine is bad for you — oh no! Wait! now it’s good for you! — nope…bad for you again!
Hmmm…I wonder why my Dad, who lived in a fishing village in the northern part of Holland and wasn’t exposed to any of the above, had the same type of brain as my son?
From what I’ve experienced and read over the years, kids on the spectrum are a potpourri of issues – genetics is a definite factor. Then there are weird health issues like food allergies, yeast overgrowth, autoimmune diseases, migraines. The reason no one can get a handle on what ’causes’ these issues is that every child on the spectrum has his/her own set of issues that is unique to that child. There is no one cause. There is no one cure.
This, too, is assuming that spectrum kids have something wrong with them. That it’s a disease that needs to be fixed. These kids are brilliant – they are the Temple Grandins, the Steve Jobs, the Einsteins, the Dav Pilkeys of the world. The fact that they think differently, behave differently, and are unconventional are what make them such a gift to our world.
Maybe lets just try to make them feel better healthwise, encourage their fabulous brains, and start supporting their parents rather than pointing fingers.