I have dis­cov­ered yet anoth­er spe­cial­ist in autism who became an expert in the sub­ject fol­low­ing her daugh­ter’s diag­no­sis. She was a qual­i­fied physi­cian who went on to spe­cial­ize in…autism.

My the­o­ry (rein­forced on at least a month­ly basis) has become: those with careers, or their own lives as their pri­or­i­ty, often are the par­ents of chil­dren with autism/special needs and AFTER that diag­no­sis they become experts (get their PhD’s), write books or make films about their fam­i­ly’s experiences. 

I now believe that most chil­dren become/are ren­dered autistic/developmentally delayed because their par­ents are total­ly focused on their careers or their own lives and not on the care their infants and tod­dlers are receiv­ing — either pro­vid­ed by the par­ents or a care­giv­er. Even indi­vid­u­als I’ve per­son­al­ly met and known who have chil­dren on the autism spec­trum fit my theory.

It is the com­mon fac­tor in near­ly every book on autism that I have read thus far — just read the list of the author’s career qual­i­fi­ca­tions, involve­ment in their pro­fes­sions and vol­un­teer work. It is com­mon to most of Leo Kan­ner’s ear­ly cas­es of autism and he even makes ref­er­ence to that fact. I am still search­ing the trans­la­tion of Asperg­er’s stud­ies, how­ev­er it is the British author and inter­preter of his work that I have just dis­cov­ered — was a physi­cian, had a child with autism and went on to become ‘an expert’ in autism.

It doesn’t take much for a thought­ful per­son to rec­og­nize the influ­ence their own par­en­t’s behav­iour and atti­tude had on their own upbring­ing and then that of their own chil­dren. Which comes first, the chick­en or the egg?

I am remind­ed of the works of Alice Miller. We need to break the spell of the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion’s atti­tudes, expec­ta­tions and behav­iours in order to make changes in ourselves.

With an open mind every gen­er­a­tion can make a dif­fer­ence in the next — for the better.