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Do you ever blame yourself for your child's issues?


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My son has a seizure disorder ... ADHD ... Asperger's ... and learning difficulties. It's hard to know where one ends and the next begins, and they're probably interrelated.

 

I know intellectually that as a parent I didn't "cause" these things. But when things are not going well (and despite evaluations and a year in ps, it's still very discouraging and I feel very alone), it's hard not to blame myself and think, "Oh, if I hadn't done thus-and-so or if I *had* done thus-and-so, we wouldn't be dealing with all of this."

 

I love my son. I just hate what he and I are dealing with. And I guess I just want someone to blame, so I'm a convenient target.

 

Anyone else feel this way?

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

I don't often blame myself, but I do play the "what if" game in my head a lot. I sometimes wonder if I had found out I was gluten intolerant before having kids, if my son wouldn't have Asperger's. He also had a very violent birth (3 hours of pushing, then a c-section - he had huge bruises on his head when he came out). Sometimes I wonder... if the doctors had noticed my bone issues *before* if that would have gone better for him too. Or if I hadn't been so insistent on trying a natural birth and had elected for a c-section, if an easier birth might have helped him. So sometimes I blame the hospital. :tongue_smilie:

 

But sometimes I turn it around and realize that DS's issues have saved my life. Before DS came, I paid no heed to food issues or sensitivities or any of it. Now, going gluten free for him has not only changed his life, but mine and my mom's and my brother's as well. So I really have to turn around and thank God that I finally had a reason to put in the work to change. Plus, I think DS is a brilliant kid. Kind of nutty and hard to control sometimes, but delightfully intelligent and brutally direct. I needed him in my life.

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Yes, all the time. It is especially disheartening because I have several with issues! We expected to have issues with the 9yo because of illness that caused developmental delay when he was a baby, but not the 7yo. I kick myself that my 12yo struggled so much when he was young because I didn't know enough about dyslexia then to see the signs. It wasn't until I read a list of symptoms at a friend's house (whose dd was dyslexic) that I realized what we were dealing with.

 

If I could just go back and change how we handled things.....that thought goes through my head all the time.

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Both of my children are adopted so I can't blame myself for anything in utero. But I still find ways to blame myself. With my son I play the what if game as well - What if I had pursued diagnosis sooner? Why, as a former special ed teacher, didn't I make the connections sooner? Is all this caused by that weird fall in gymnastics at age 4? and so on.

 

With my dd, I feel some guilt as well - I should have challenged the arrogant doctors more about her feeding issues when my gut was telling me so she wouldn't have spent the 1st year aspirating and then maybe she woulldn't have so many sensitivity and eating issues now. After her last dental appointment I keep thinking, "How did I mnage to miss that her tongue was tied?" And there are others as well...

 

My brother has high functioning autism and my parents knew something was wrong from an early age. My brother is now 38 and they play the blame game constantly - which side ofthe family caused it, the "I should haves", the "he would be better if you..." and so on. After watching them spend more time on that and less on acceptance and trying to find ways to help him function more - or simply just accepting him for who he really is - I really try to make the constant decision not to play the what if or the blame game. I fail though sometimes.

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I blame myself less and less these days. It's helped me that I have several children and their issues vary in type and degree, though there is overlap with some kids with some issues. I couldn't mess all of them up in different ways, could I? Educating myself about the different things that affect them has opened my eyes to the genetic factor as well. I started noticing things in adult relatives and picking up on descriptions of relatives who died before dh and I were born. I've been trying to look at the positives more as well. Some of the quirks are really tied together with wonderful talents and gifts that probably wouldn't exist in the same way if the quirks weren't there. I wouldn't want to give up the good parts, especially the loving compassion. It does help to know that the adults in our families have turned out fine, for the most part. :tongue_smilie:

 

I will add that a loving, secure family relationship seems to bring out the best aspects. Among our extended families, the ones with the most family trouble or less involved parents seem suffer the most from their disabilities. I just read Answers to Distraction, and the author notes there that a feeling "connectedness" is crucial in outcome. Perhaps it's obvious, but I can say I've seen this play out in real life.

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I blamed myself when the kids were first diagnosed. Was it the water? Too much tuna while pregnant? But, now, I doubt it's something we did or didn't do. There are sooo many kids with spectrum disorders and their parents are so diverse that I don't think it's something that parents can control.

 

We did try the DAN protocal when the boys were first diagnosed, but it didn't work for us. I do feel better knowing we've tried both biomedical and ABA. I think we've covered all the bases and given the boys the best chance for achieving their potential.

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When ds was young and having undiagnosed problems, I blamed myself. Once we learned of the seizures and ASD, I looked for things to blame. We had our water tested, considered the CCA wood around the house, you name it. Once we were on the road to recovery, GFCF, lots of therapies, I quit blaming and just focused on progress. I don't ever blame myself now. There are some what ifs out there, but I rarely go there either. I just focus on doing the best for him each day. He is a fabulous young man and has come so far. I'm too busy being proud of him to feel guilty.

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Yes - my son inherited his transolcated chromosome from me - and I don't think he was lucky enough to be symptomatic (33% chance of not having symptoms). I also had to take terbutaline starting at 6 months which has now been shown to cause damage in neurological developmet.

 

So - actually - it is my fault.

 

However - I don't sit around beating myself up about. I didn't exactly have control over the chromosome (or even know about it at the time), and without the terbutaline he wouldn't even be here.

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Not for the Asperger's itself, which I can see is strongly genetic in my dh's family, but for the inevitable emotional upheavals and tensions that are part of life with two Aspies and an outnumbered and stressed out neurotypical. I do try my best, but I wish I were somehow a better person, or even superhuman...

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. I also had to take terbutaline starting at 6 months which has now been shown to cause damage in neurological developmet.

.

 

Really??? I didn't know that. Can you give me a ref. I took it with my second, the (gifted) neurotypical kid of mine. Huh! That is upsetting to me!

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Really??? I didn't know that. Can you give me a ref. I took it with my second, the (gifted) neurotypical kid of mine. Huh! That is upsetting to me!

 

Yeah - my son is 12 and the studies came out 11 years ago. Figures. Here are some links:

 

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/308/2/529.full

 

http://www.usautism.org/content/interview_terbutaline_2005.htm

 

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/322/1/16.abstract

 

http://npp.wisc.edu/newsarchive/PDF/nrn2598.pdf

 

Here's a quote from the last one......

 

"

 

Terbutaline and other related drugs were previously commonly used in lateterm pregnancies to reduce premature uterine contractions by stimulating the β2adrenergic receptor175. Exposure of neonatal animals

to terbutaline results in neuroinflammation and longlasting

behavioural and cellular

deficits176–178.

Furthermore, children exposed to terbutaline or related adrenoceptor

stimulants during late gestation may have an increased incidence of learning and neuropsychiatric disorders179,180. Recent clinical

studies have revealed an increased risk for the development of autism spectrum disorder in exposed offspring, consistent with a report of a modest increase in risk due to an allelic variant in the gene encoding

the β2adrenergic receptor181; whether this genetic predisposition and environmental risk interact with one another is not yet

known. In fact, the efficacy of these drugs in preventing preterm delivery when used for maintenance tocolysis is suspect182, and

their recognition for such uses has been withdrawn."

 

 

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Educating myself about the different things that affect them has opened my eyes to the genetic factor as well. I started noticing things in adult relatives and picking up on descriptions of relatives who died before dh and I were born. I've been trying to look at the positives more as well. Some of the quirks are really tied together with wonderful talents and gifts that probably wouldn't exist in the same way if the quirks weren't there. I wouldn't want to give up the good parts, especially the loving compassion.

 

Yes, same here. It was quite an eye opener to realize what an atypical extended family we have. Stuff that we took for granted or had no clue was particularly unusual now has a label. And some of the genetic quirks only became apparent to me after adopting a child with more severe difficulties (autism spectrum). After dealing with various comorbid issues in her (such as hyperactivity) it became obvious that the same issues are rampant in my own family tree (and even in me - I didn't realize I was hyperactive, and the fact that my father ran 10 miles every day and was compulsively active didn't strike me as unusual!). So it's been quite enlightening. Her right-brained learning style is very similar to the learning styles of my dyslexic birth children, and I wonder if I might not have been so quick to recognize their difficulties if I hadn't been dealing with hers as well.

 

I like the way you suggest focusing on the positives, on their talents and gifts. It's so easy to lose sight of the blessings we have in these kids because we're so intent on trying to fix the problems and help them cope with the challenges they've been dealt. It helps to make a conscious decision to find joy in the little things, and to just take one day at a time. :)

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Really??? I didn't know that. Can you give me a ref. I took it with my second, the (gifted) neurotypical kid of mine. Huh! That is upsetting to me!

 

I had tebertuline with my 12yo with LDs, but I don't know that it is related - my 7 and 9yo have the same problems (much worse) and I didn't have it with them.

 

As for the family connections - YES! It is so funny to be able to pick out the different things in different family members. It seems that my 2 middle boys got ALL the recessive genes, though!:glare:

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