Does “WHY” My Son Has Autism Really Matter?


When our son first began with autism services, he was only fifteen months old. We were scared and didn’t know what was happening to us or to our child.

We decided to concentrate on our son. We focused only on him and what he needed at that time. We read a lot of books, but we didn’t tell most of the people in our lives what we were doing because we didn’t know HOW to explain autism. 

We also didn’t ask why. 

Since that time, I have learned that a lot of families spend a considerable amount of energy on investigating WHY their child has autism.

What did we do?

We didn’t want to split our energy. In truth, we didn’t care at that time about HOW our son had autism. Our son was more important to us than the investigation.

A few years later, I got curious. By this time, our son was older, in inclusion classes, and doing relatively well. At this point, I began to wonder how it happened.

I was quite educated by that time. Besides beginning to tell everyone about our son’s autism and volunteering for autism-related event, every once in awhile I would come across an autism-related study that discussed possible reasons for autism. I discovered that none of these studies gave any concrete results. 

One time, for example, I came across a study that looked at mothers who had to be induced into labor. The study suggested a higher prevalence for those babies to have autism.

Now, here’s one problem with studies and why you should take them with a grain of salt – there are always exceptions. My problem with the example above is that my son was not induced. Therefore, even though the study applies to some autistics out there, it does not apply to all autistics. I does not apply to our situation. 

Why do I think my son got autism?

I believe a baby is born “ready.” Then, if that child gets a “trigger,” there is a high chance that some form of autism could develop. 

The trigger can come in many forms; age of the parents or one parent, history in the family, the environment, and, yes, even the shots that are given to newborns. 

I don’t believe the MMR shots alone are the cause of autism. However, again citing the fact that there are exceptions, there have been a few cases of the MMR shot inducing autism. But I believe those cases are rare. 

And, again, I do not believe the MMR shot applies to my son. The study about inducing a delivery did not apply nor did a few other studies I’ve read. I still do not know exactly what caused my son’s autism, and I probably will never know. 

What should you do?

Investigate why your child got his/her autism when you feel the time is right. I would advise watching how much energy you are taking away from your child in order to solve a problem that – in reality – won’t really help your child. 

You cannot undo your child’s autism, you cannot go back in time.

Plus, is the blame-game all that important? Maybe your child got autism because, well, he was born ready and a trigger – one that was out of your control – just happened. Examine your own anger and ask yourself, is it worth it that you have to know why.

I wouldn’t change my son for anything. He has autism, but if he didn’t he’d be a completely different kid. And, I love him exactly the way he is. 

Yes, he has it “harder” than other kids his age, but maybe his struggles will make an even better person. He already has strengths that many of his peers don’t.

I don’t regret for one second how we handled our child’s autism. I am not angry, but fairly sure how my son got autism. He just got it. And, we deal with it. And, he’s…awesome. Period. 

And, that’s okay with me.  

To Find Kimberly Kaplan:

Go to to purchase “Two Years of Autism Blogs Featured on” or Amazon Kindle ebook “A Parents’ Guide to Early 

     Autism Intervention”

Twitter: @tipsautismmom



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