That’s why I don’t get my child vaccinatedNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, enterlinedesign/shutterstock
The possible link between autism and the vaccinations children get before the age of 5 began because of a fraudulent research paper by Andrew Wakefield. Since then, many parents have elected not to vaccinate their children, for fear of vaccinations raising the risk of their children developing autism, and some are quick to pass judgment on those who do, especially if their child has been diagnosed on the spectrum. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counters that there have been legitimate studies conducted that conclude no link between vaccines and the development of autism. The studies have looked at everything from the antigens (the compounds that sort of poke the immune system to get a response) to the ingredients in vaccines, and the results have been the same. Here are other common myths related to vaccines.
Here’s what to say instead: I may have different beliefs about vaccines, but I know every parent has a responsibility to do what he or she feels is best for the child.
Are you sure?Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, enterlinedesign/shutterstock
The diagnostic criteria for evaluating individuals for autism, according to the DSM-5 (which is like a handbook for doctors), is extremely comprehensive. It involves paperwork from parents, teachers, and specialists, thorough observations of the individual, play-based assessments, and more. Still, autism comes under fire often as a disorder that is too easily diagnosed, leaving some to question the accuracy of the diagnostic process, sometimes even accusing parents of pushing for a diagnosis. Amy Hess, program director at the Center for Autism Transition and Services (CAST) at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and an autism parent, admits that the evaluation process for her son was extremely difficult for her. “To see our son fail aspects of the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) as well as other tests was heartbreaking. We challenged the results, reviewed the data and had difficulty accepting the diagnosis, mainly because we did not want the diagnosis,” she says. In other words, it’s not something most parents take lightly, and it’s certainly not something they wish for their children.
Here’s what to say instead: Can you explain more about the diagnostic process? I’m interested in knowing more.
You should teach him some mannersNicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, enterlinedesign/shutterstock
It can be incredible difficult to “teach” a child on the spectrum manners, such as saying “please,” “thank you,” or even keeping his elbows off the dinner table. As Jones explains in his book, Look Into My Eyes, “Social skills are something that most people learn unconsciously as they grow up, through copying parents and older siblings.” Children on the spectrum don’t typically have the same ability to mimic social skills as others do. Rather, they have “very limited awareness that there are different ways to treat people, or that different behavior has different meaning.” Although consistent therapies can help some children on the spectrum develop manners, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Here’s what to say instead: What should I do to help him develop manners? What are you doing at home that works?