To the newly diagnosed family…this is not your fault!

As a parent you want to fix it.

As a parent you want a cause.

As a parent you want a doctor to go to the ends of the earth to help make your child feel better and have less struggle. It is our human nature and our parental instinct.

But then your child is diagnosed with something that no one can explain the why, and no one can 100% tell you this is the cause. This reality is not easy to accept. Sometimes you are even told to embrace your child’s new lifelong diagnosis. To embrace their life being more of a struggle than others. In the moment of diagnosis it is hard to look to the bright side. And without explanation and without the why, you start to question everything.

Everything you ate while you were pregnant, every processed meal you gave your child, was it the formula, was it something I ate while I was breastfeeding, the cleaning products I use, the detergent I wash our clothes in, medicine we gave, every choice plays through your head without giving you any answer.

What could I have done different?

STOP! Stop yourself. This is not your fault. I know at the time of a diagnosis it can be hard to turn this off, but you can do it! I want you to say this to yourself and believe it, “This is not my fault”!

Say it louder…. “THIS IS NOT MY FAULT”!

Worry and stress will be with other things that need your attention. Therapy, treatments and the future. The stress will be unavoidable at times. But don’t add to it with, “what did I do wrong?” Just don’t!

I don’t know what causes autism. I know I have read “can cause autistic like symptoms” on more than one genetic abnormality. I know that there are opinions on many different things that can cause autism. And with every inch of my being, I don’t know if they are right or if they are wrong. I know there will not be one cause of autism, nor will there be one solution. The umbrella we have all been placed under is too vast for there to be one magical solution.

With all those potential causes, you don’t deserve to be one of them. You don’t deserve that beat down you are attempting to give yourself. You have other things to take care of, and the stress that you will add to your soul is not worth it! No matter how many times you run that movie reel through your head, unfortunately, you will not have an answer. All you will have left is worry and self doubt.

Believe me, I did this. I have moments where I still do this. And I think to let yourself have a small moment is healthy. We have to feel a little. I stick my toes in the rabbit hole, feel the hand of self doubt and fear grab ahold of my foot ready to yank me down and I pull myself out! I pull myself out, have a good cry and focus on what I can control.

Focus on what I can do for her.

Focus on what I can do for my family.

Because that rabbit hole does not deserve my attention! And it does not deserve yours.

It’s not your fault!

Lots of love,

Shelley

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