Autism Dad: The Blame Game

An Autism Dad reader writes: “I am divorcing my husband as we speak. He denies it now, but he has always blamed me for my son’s autism… because I allowed him to be vaccinated. And this is so true, in the past few years I felt myself wilting, literally dying inside without his love and support, and worse, his insults and his disdain. But it’s OK, because if I wilt, my babies will wilt too, and I can’t allow that. So here I go, for my kids, for myself, I will fill myself with the love of those who truly care about me and leave behind the pain and the negativity.”

I have a feeling this scenario is not uncommon. I want to hear from moms and dads alike: What is your reaction, and what has your personal experience been?

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This entry was posted in March 2012 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Autism Dad: The Blame Game

  1. Wow. That is a deep and emotional quote above. I know the autism dignosis has made my relationship stronger with my wife but as I read your post, I thought of a mom of an autistic boy we randomly ran into at a park who said the same thing. When I read your quote it sounds almost exactly like what she shared and why she and her husband split.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Just from talking to my readers, I’ve gathered enough data to conclude that a good # of men have trouble accepting it. I don’t know that a large # of men blame their wife. I doubt that. But a lot of dads do appear, more than moms, to have tremendous difficulty coping with the reality.

  2. That is very sad. I think if a person lives with a blaming-type of person, who holds grudges and cannot express feelings, than there will be challenges, with or without autism. Special needs bring up issues that are on the underlying-surface of marriages. Some people survive the challenges and become stronger, some people discover who they are with is not beneficial for their spirit. ~ Sam :)

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hey Sam! Super insightful comment! Especially this: “Special needs bring up issues that are on the underlying-surface of marriages.” Autism doesn’t cause divorce, but it does test how strong the foundation of the marriage is.

  3. I admit that I have blamed my husband, especially right after my son was diagnosed. He had some speech issues and learning challenges early in his childhood. I was just very angry at the world, him and myself at the time. I was angry at everything. Honestly, we have had a rocky relationship since my son was born. I agree that special needs does bring up a lot of underlying issues in a marriage. I think it makes you look at all relationships with the people around you.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for your honesty. Of course it’s normal at the outset to be angry and resentful. Since we don’t know the cause of autism, we are denied an explanation. So we point fingers at others. That’s okay initially, but then we have to get over our anger, and I think most couples do eventually.

  4. RoLaAus says:

    Even though my wife sort of took the lead on getting our kids vaccinated, even so far as scheduling all the appointments. I told her what would work best with my work schedule and she got appointments that fit since she never learned to drive, I had to take off work, go home and pick up the family and take them to the appointment, which usually ended up with an evening outting somewhere. Anyways, I didn’t have any objections at the time, but now that I’ve done some reading, after the fact, I don’t care about blame, blaming her, or the pharmaceutical companies. The information that I have gathered leads me to believe these affects from vaccines, or heavy metal poisoning is likely treatable. These heavy metals could have come from vaccines or from other additives in our every day food stuffs (canned, or more accurately tin-canned – fruits and vegetables, preservatives in boxed or prepared meals, Rice-a-roni, Hanburger helper and the like). In fact, what I’ve learned is that the reason these items can affect one child with ASD symptoms and leave others neuro-typical is – in my own wording, similar to diabetics and their inability to process sugars properly.
    As for accepting or coping with the ASD diagnosis. I believe that I have handled it better than my (soon to be) ex-wife. While she is off galavanting with my ex best friend, in their new relationship, she is neglecting to send our Autistic son to the pre-school class that she enrolled him in to. With a 56% attendance record, I have to wonder if he is receiving ANY benefit from going to this class at all. I don’t think she grasps the concept of “developmentally disabled”, she must think that he is learning things in one day of class and retaining it the next time he’s in class several days later, like having our NT son draw a letter A and then having him draw a letter A the next day, and then going on and having him draw a letter B adding it to the previous lesson of A. It makes sense when you’re NT, but with our Autistic son’s sporatic attendance, I don’t think he’s getting any benefit from the class. Of course, she would rather be off with her new boyfriend in his hometown away from the town that he’s enrolled in school. He qualifies for door to door bus service and is only going 56% of the time, I will be shocked if the judge doesn’t adjust the custody order because our older son willl start school next year (mandatory) but will not have bus service and lives a mile away from school. So, since she doesn’t know how to drive, and can’t even get our Autistic son onto the bus, I will be floored if I don’t end up with custody soon.
    Oh, and I know this thread has to do mainly with the causes of divorce or marital problems and ASD. Well, my wife and I split up about a month after our son’s official diagnosis, and even though we had our concerns my wife was ever the hopeful (or denial) and didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, despite my logical brain telling me he was different in more ways than just within the normal developmental spectrum of NT children. Anyways. we were having our problems before ASD came into our lives, and it never had the chance to be a positive or negative factor in our marriage/divorce.
    The first thing I am going to try, once the judge sees the light and gives me custody, is finding a DAN doctor experienced in the detoxification process, because there are dangers. According to what I’ve read, because of the potential heavy metal toxins in his body, he is unable to properly break down fatty acids (thus my equivalence to diabetics and sugar compounds), and when his body does process these fatty acids that aren’t completely broken down, the result is actually similar to a narcotic induced “high”, so his body has to be carefully adjusted to the proper balance otherwise he risks facing withdrawals and the possibility of his ASD symptoms increasing.
    I am wondering if Autistic Dad is willing to post on a new seperate thread and ask for feedback from readers as to if they have tried detox and what the results were, and if they learned about it and chose not to, why? I would be extremely interested in hearing any and all feedback regarding this.
    I am completely rational and logical and I am totally prepared for the possibility that my plans to detoxify my son will not show any improvements, however, I AM hopeful, and there is little to no risk involved in doing it (as long as it’s done properly, as I explained, slowly). In fact, I’m curious to see if I’m able to go through a detox process, because I suffer from chronic pain and I would like to see if it helps me out as well.

  5. mewanslee@cox.net says:

    Just read your post about the blame game. Wow – going through that too. My son is a very smart student who has gone to a special school for children who learn differently for the past 5 years. At 3 1/2 he was identified as speech delay and then at 8 dyslexic and ADHD. Fast forward 8 years of the best therapy and his eligibility for special needs is going away (LD SLD) but he still has issues – a recent round of testing and he comes up on the spectrum and the school psychologist has determined he is eligible for services under autism. My husband is enraged and blames me for passing this (autism) on to him and wonders if his son will pass it on to his kids. Its all a blame game. We recently discovered my cousin has a son who is autistic and my cousin is dyslexic. My spouse is convinced that my maternal grandfather (who is dead and my spouse never met) had these problems. Just blame blame blame and accuses me of hiding the condition of relatives (dyslexia and ADHD and Autism) when in fact I have worked hard to get our son his services and to get the school district to pay to send my son to a special school for the past 6 years that runs in excess of $25,000 a year!
    I have recently come to believe that my spouse is narcissistic because he always blames me for the lack of money we have (I am a stay at home mother but was able to convince the school district to foot the bill for our son) and for the condition of our son. My husband is super smart and super arrogant about his brilliance
    It breaks my heart because my son is a smart and loving boy who needs services to help him so that he can can grown up and be a productive, fulfilled and well adjusted young man. He doesn’t need parents who argue about something that isn’t important (who to blame). It makes me feel like divorcing my husband because i don’t see any way out of this blame game. He won’t go to counseling – he already takes Effexor for depression, medicine for high blood pressure, and must stay in bed for approximately 16 hours a day to finally get 3 hours of decent REM sleep! The lack of sleep makes him cranky like a two year old and he says crazy things like what I mentioned above that I have been hiding my genetic history and that i am to blame for our son’s condition. Its making me crazy. In the end I know I need to protect my son.

  6. John says:

    My wife blames me. The truth is our 2 1/2 year old son has not yet been officially diagnosed with autism. But we are not in denial. He has a strong speech delay & his eye contact/ interaction with others is not quite where it should be. He does have a lot of great skills. He loves to play & his eye contact gets better & better & also his receptive language is terrific. But is our gut we know some type of mild autism diagnosis is likely. The fact is I have an autistic nephew who probably will never be able to function on his own & this is all my wife can think about. Therefore she constantly blames me because in her mind it has to be genetic. Whenever we argue about anything she basically flat out tells me its my fault our son will struggle through life with autism. And as you can imagine this drives me mad. This has been going on for about a year now ever since we noticed our son’s developmental delays, which he has since made great progress on by the way, but she still sees only the negative like that he still isn’t talking. I know this is very hard for her but its hard for me too. While I do love her, I did fall in love with her, I know also hate her for this. I don’t know what to do. She is obviously coping terribly with this. Don’t get me wrong she has been such a great mother to our son but she really has been a terrible wife. Every time she blames me for our son’s issues I love her less. In heated arguments she as gone as far as saying that she curses the day she met me. At what point do I say that is enough & decide to divorce her. I truly hope she gets over this & realizes all the good in her life & just accepts things for what they are. The thing that kills me is our son has great potential despite a likely autistic diagnosis. A divorce might really put a dent in that potential or maybe it won’t. I need help on this. I really do.

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