Stop Spreading Fear: #Autism is tough but not the worst thing in the world

You asked for it and  you have it.  This is my personal opinion on a topic that is sensitive and currently all over the news and social media once again.  I’m looking at this issue from a different perspective. 

Something that I don’t understand about some people is why they are so afraid of Autism?

I know that Autism is challenging for the entire family, especially when dealing with the lower end of the spectrum but even the higher end can be challenging.

Having said that, it really seems like Autism is being made out to be this unbearable burden that parents should try to avoid at all costs..


Again, I can only speak to my personal experience but I know how challenging Autism can be for me personally.

I know there are families that face greater challenges than I do and that’s why I only speak for myself.  Having said that, challenging, overwhelming, exhausting and frustrating are not necessarily a reason for fear.

One of the things that really bother me about the anti-vaccine movement (aside from the obvious) is that it seems as though people are willing risk their child’s health and safety in order to avoid a perceived risk of Autism.  Like Autism is the end of the world.

Even worse, other parents are encouraged to do the same thing and this goes against indisputably solid, scientific and medical fact.

I will say that I do believe that people who refuse vaccines for their kids are doing what they think is best.  It would be unfair to say otherwise. 

I don’t mean to oversimplify a complicated issue but the point I’m trying to make is that the entire anti-vaccine movement is based on the fear that vaccines cause Autism.

Has anyone ever stopped to think about the message that sends to our loved ones with Autism?

How do you think adults with Autism feel when they hear the references made about Autism? How do you think it would feel to hear the extreme lengths people are willing to go in order to avoid having a child like you?

My guess is that it feels pretty shitty.

What message does all this send to our kids?

If you think that our kids don’t pick up on this stuff because they have Autism,  you’re kidding yourself.

It’s time that we start thinking about how our actions, words, paranoia and fear mongering (for lack of a better word) impacts the people that we are all trying to build a better future for.

Imagine what it must be like to have people think that the worst thing in the world that could happen in their lives would be to have a child that has the same condition you have….

Our words and actions have a lasting impact. Let’s make sure that the impact we are having is as positive as possible.


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5 Comments on "Stop Spreading Fear: #Autism is tough but not the worst thing in the world"

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Carl Bainbridge
I will avoid the vaccine position because personally it is irrelevant to my point. While autism is not necessarily the worst thing that can happen, there are varying different degrees and some of those degrees are quite hard on parents. Our son for example is essentially non verbal (he has some words and he can ask for what he wants but not much) he is a high flight risk. he is unlikely to ever be able to live on his own. he can be a tad aggressive… realistic truth is that at the age of 12(almost) our son is able… Read more »
Rob Gorski

Thank you for sharing your perspective. You are absolutely right and it’s so important to remember that everyone’s experience is very different.

Well said my friend..

Rob Gorski

I should also add that I was simply referring to the use of fear to manipulate parents. Again, I totally support where you’re coming from.

Carl Bainbridge

I do agree on that issue. I hate the use of fear to manipulate parents into one style of behaviour or another.

There is abundant scientific evidence for both sides of the vaccine debate. Each parent should read the information out there and come to an educated decision on their own.

This fear mongering on both sides of the discussion really tends to bother me as it is completely unproductive.

Rob Gorski
Wise words my friend. I’ll tell people what I do for my kids and why. I will also tell them to talk to their child’s doctor about vaccines and try to block out the static because no one knows their child better than they do and their child’s doctor does. I don’t have a medical license and while I support vaccines in general, I would never try and predict how someone else’s child will react. Tragic reactions are statically very rare but they do happen. I hate how people muddy the water with paranoia and personal opinion. Vaccines should be… Read more »