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Posted by Liz R on September 10, 2000 at 09:52:30:

In Reply to: Re: Some of what I was told posted by Jakes Mom on September 10, 2000 at 00:29:01:

: O.K. Vanessa, I'm going to go out on a limb here.
: I have been "lurking" this board for about a week and swore to myself that I would never post! Yet here I am doing just that. I have to admit that I thought you were all "crazy" and I "lurked" for entertainment purposes only. But now you've got my attention. I'm not saying I'm going to jump in head first but I do want to hear more.
: I live in the US, in a town with a very high rate of autism. My son was diagnosed at 2 1/2 with HFA. He is now 4 1/2 and doing very well. I guess he's what you'd call "mildly affected". But autistic none the less.
: I just have so much to say I don't know where to begin. I don't know if Jake is right or left brain tended, or if his testosterone is high or low, but I do know that Jake was born in December, my husband is left-handed, and that Jake was exposed to T.V. ALOT as a newborn. I can remember quite clearly, one day Jake was watching Sesame Street (he was 11 months old) and he started screaming. I thought he was afraid of the puppet seals! It happened again 2 days later. One month later he stopped using the few words he had (maybe three). Then it all started, At first I thought he was deaf, but the hearing test came back normal. Then the odd behaviors, not understanding directions and so on. But the one thing that really bothers me is the lack of stimulation from me when he was born. I don't think you mentioned this, I'm not sure.
: Let me explain, when Jake was 3 weeks old my brother died tragically. I was a mess. Please understand I took care of Jake and his older brother but I was in another world. I don't want to sound like I'm crazy, just try to imagine losing someone you love and picture taking care of a newborn at the same time.
: Life was crazy the first year of Jakes life, I have to tell myself I did the best that I could. But tell me, is this one of the factors the doctors mentioned? Could my lack of nurturing (believe me I didn't ignore him) combined with all the other factors lead to what these doctors are saying? If so, whats the next move?
: I have to tell you, it's not going to be fun trying to explain all this to my husband.
: I'm not sure yet if I'm even going to try. I really need to think about this and I would like to hear more of what you have to say.
: Thanks for listening. Good luck to you and Emma and God Bless"

You did not cause your son's autism. Unfortunately, this TV theory that has caught our eye is starting to sound like it came from one of Bettleheim's followers. I tried to limit Joe's TV watching more than my other children. His first three years included singing, playing outside, and cuddling with me. I was very nurturing with him because I knew he was going to be my last baby. Did it stop him from becoming autistic - NO!
I will be polite until this theory starts making the moms around here feel guilty. Yes TV stinks for young children when it is used improperly, but don't let this theory compound your grief. You have already been through two tragedies in the last five years.

Love Liz R

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