Blame Mom Attitude Alive and Well

posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs.

Mothers always have to take one for their kids. All through out history mothers have been held responsible for the outcome of their children's lives. If anything ever went wrong it was because mom screwed up somewhere. For a very long time it was the official belief of the scientific and medical community that mothers caused autism in their children by not loving them enough. These days I hear people say, with regards to autism, things like, "At least we're not blaming the mothers any more." Actually, we still do and I don't think we ever really stopped.

These days the blame mom attitude has become perhaps a bit more subtle but it is there none the less. Today more than a few argue (quite vehemently) that autism is caused by vaccinations and/or toxins in food and the environment. The implication of this belief is, to me, obvious. If your child has autism it's your fault for vaccinating your child, it's your fault for eating the wrong kinds of food during pregnancy and/or while nursing, it's your fault for not breastfeeding enough or at all. With the rise of various alternative treatments and miracle "cures" we can also add to the list that it's the parents' fault, usually mom's, that a child is autistic because they aren't trying all of these new methods to "cure" or "recover*" their child.

This, Preventing Autism: An Emerging Hypothesis, is nothing more than the old refrigerator mom theory with a new suit of clothes on. Please note that dad, the author and presumably the source of this new hypothesis, had zero hoops to jump through in order to "prevent" autism in his child.

I found the disturbing post above through Left Brain/Right Brain who has some interesting comments on it.

*A pet peeve of mine with people who make claims about recovering children from autism. Those kids were never lost. They were right in front of you waiting for you to understand and accept them.


  1. Some of them aren't targeting moms but simply trying to use this as an excuse to get people fired up about environmentalist causes and increased regulation of chemicals that they think cause autism.

  2. I am confused by the phrase "recovering children from autism". They were not lost, they have always been right in front of us, but we as a society in general for one reason or another have not wanted to acknowledge that anything was different.


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