Now, we have moved on to Blame the Parent, version 2.0.
How do we blame the parent in 2011? By claiming the parent made bad choices that led to, exacerbated, or in some other way contributed to the situation of his or her child.
A partial list of the blame game.
You shouldn't have…
- vaccinated your child.
- received any shots or vaccines.
- eaten any fish (or X, Y, and Z) while pregnant.
- exercised so much while pregnant.
- exercised so little.
- fed your child X, Y, or Z.
- used household cleanser X.
- lived so close to a freeway.
- lived near farmland.
- taken your child to Dr. X.
- tried therapy X, Y, or Z when A really works.
It is actually an endless list. The mother or father is no longer too distant or too affectionate, instead the parent simply made bad, ill-informed, careless decisions.
Exactly how is this a better way to talk to parents about autism? And sadly, the greatest perpetrators of this Blame 2.0 are other parents, including parents of children with special needs.
Sometimes, I get frustrated. How can people be so insensitive? You don't need to tell another parent what he or she did wrong in your mind. Most parents just want a bit of support while trying to do the best they can. In fact, we'd all be better off if some "helpful" people didn't offer any blame disguised as advice.
No parent wants a child who will live a life filled with challenges. Most parents want the best for their children.