Some time ago, I sketched out an idea for an article, which compared the rising numbers of autism to the rising numbers of childhood cancers. Frankly, BOTH are rapidly rising at an alarming rate, and NEITHER (in my opinion) are getting the attention they need.
But, I hesitated because I in no way wanted to relate to autism to cancer.
AUTISM DOESN’T KILL
And then last week, I saw that apparently somebody wrote a book called, “I Wish My Kids Had Cancer: Surviving the Autism Epidemic.”
I was annoyed, angry and incensed. Yes, I do believe that autism is medical, true. And, yes, I think it completely has reached epidemic proportions.
BUT I will tell you that I get down on my knees nearly every night to thank God that my children do NOT have cancer or any other life-threatening or terminal illness. And I pray A LOT that my beautiful child with Down syndrome will not get early onset Alzheimer’s. Could it happen? Sure, and if it does, I’ll hold my children close, do my best and pray a little differently.
Since I started to write this post last week, I learned that a very famous person in the world of web design got news that his daughter with cancer was at her end – nothing more could be done. She passed away last Saturday on her 6th birthday. I gasp a little whenever I think that- right on her 6th birthday. It sounded like she was in a lot of pain. As a Christian, I believe that this little girl is happy in heaven right now, but make no mistake: This could have been nothing less than excruciating for the family. I have NO DOUBT they would have traded cancer for autism in a heartbeat.
I KNOW AUTISM IS HARD
I’m not talking about the challenges family my family has been through. I am fully aware we have it relatively easy. I see stories of children who’s elopement can’t be contained, no matter what the families try. Others of kids who’s epileptic seizures are so bad they cannot even sit for a short period of time and further lead to developmental delays. More of kids who are so self-injurious they need to be restrained from hurting themselves. I have NO ILLUSIONS that autism is just “different wiring,” when for many, it can be a life-threatening condition – from elopement, seizures, injury or even from GI problems and allergies.
BUT. IT’S. NOT. CANCER.
Cancer is the leading cause of death among children aged 1-14 and, although the National Cancer Institute still says it’s rare, all our improved technology has done nothing – NOTHING – to find a cure. I recently learned, too, that once you HAVE cancer you really never “not have” it. That’s why they always say “remission” – no one is every truly free of it. Doctors do say “cure” when they give a timeline, i.e, “5 year cure rate,” which really means a 5 year remission rate. They can shrink tumors, they can poison the cells, they can sometimes ease pain, but supported, available technology that cures you? Not an option.
PREVENTION IS OUR KIDS’ ONLY PROTECTION
The ONLY thing you can do is try to prevent it. It’s easy if you think of smoking, right? Smoking has a proven link to lung cancer, which turns out to be one of the most preventable cancers – if you don’t smoke or have a lot of exposure to 2nd hand smoke or similar pollution. And yea, toxins ARE in everything, so the best you can do is to what you can and not worry about what you can’t. My water is LOADED with fluoride, a KNOWN destructive toxin which isn’t even proven to prevent cavities but right now, I can’t do a thing about it and I can only afford to buy so much water. So I do other things, like avoiding fluoride in toothpaste, reducing other toxins, cooking with cast iron, eliminating BPAs, only buying organic and so on.
Plus autism is very different from cancer, even from a healing perspective. While many cancers have prescribed plans of attack, you’re on your own with healing negative behaviors and symptoms caused by autism. Try things. Try everything. The parents who believe autism is not medical will tell you how great an iPad in helping their child communicate and parents who DO believe it is medical will equally tell you how great HBOT or homeopathy or supplements or chelation or dietary intervention was in helping their child. Brain chemistry is subtle and responsive to different things. Your kid may have parasites or PANS or PANDAS or mito issues or gluten sensitivity or is reactive to phenols or ..or…or…who knows. So try it, if it’s safe and you can afford it.
iPADS & HOMEOPATHY ARE BOTH GREAT IN MY HOME
With autism, I believe there is hope and solutions and out-of-the-box things you can try.
AND BE GRATEFUL.
Your path was designed just for you. You are the best parent for your child. And get on your knees to be thankful for what your child is NOT dealing with, for the small victories, for this young life that’s completely changed yours.
As for my kids? They are not where they could be, but sure not where they used to be – and that makes mama very happy 🙂 See: