My oldest is neurochemically atypical. I with my special ed degrees and 16 years of experience feel that he shares characteristics of a person with very high functioning Asperger's and ADHD. The neuropsych team felt that he has anxiety and sensory processing disorder with ADHD (like Asperger's?). Tomato, tomatoe... Either way I have a need for a highly structured environment in my home, I have to explain things in literal black & white terms, and state all of my expectations clearly in small steps right now in order to give my son the tools he needs to build the tools for adulthood.
My daughter is affected by hypotonic cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a stroke that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth resulting in a muscular abnormality present since birth that doesn't get better and doesn't get worse. The muscle function may get better or worse but the overall make up of the muscles is not degenerative and isn't going to magically get better.
These disorders are not related, I could not have landed with 2 disabilities that are further apart. the Autism spectrum may have genetic components but as far as I know there isn't a family history of this... not granted I don't know half of my husband's genetic history and I don't know half of my Nana's genetic history, and I really don't know about much of half of my own family medical history.
I get asked more often than you might realize, "what caused this?"
"did you get sick when you were pregnant?"
-----Yes, everyone gets sick when they're pregnant, I even took antibiotics (GASP!)
"did you vaccinate your kids?"
-----Yes, I vaccinated all of the children. Their behavior did not change after vaccination and if the chemicals had any sort of interaction in their brains then I genuinely feel that my son would have eventually presented with these characteristics even if I had chosen not to vaccinate.
-----Yes, all of my small fetuses were exposed to medicine approved by authorities of western medicine.
"were there birth complications?"
-----No, there weren't any valid birth complications. If the cause were birth complications then Cole would have had CP and Faith and Davin would have been typical. Cole was born via unplanned c-section.
"did you do anything that you haven't asked forgiveness for?"
-----No, I don't think any of my sinful behavior caused any of the disabilities present in my family.
We all sin, if this were how the world works there would be no typical people to compare my kids to. Jesus paid for my sins, my kids don't have to pay for my sins.
Here's my opinion on why my children were born with some different needs:
Seriously, we live in a broken freaking world with chemicals in our food that we as a species really haven't seen until this last century. We live in a world where people get cancer, they die too young, we have disease, famine, and loss all around us. Our world has this whole environmental thing going on and we haven't had the tools long enough to study how our actions will impact our world or if global warming is simply a natural cycle that we (people) haven't been around long enough to see. come full circle.
I'm sure there's a little bit of everything mixed into the truth that we haven't found.
So... I don't consider these disabilities a tragedy (that's another blog). I don't think there is any one cause for how my children are made up. I know that I believe in the truths in the Bible which says say God knew my kids before they were in my womb and I know that God knew every challenge they would face. Every child has a unique contribution to this world and if I didn't have a daughter with cerebral palsy who is going to be a princess when she grows up, or a son who sees everything very literally and will be a great leader when he's an adult, or another son who loves to dress in his Sunday best every day and wants to play bagpipes and be a chef then my world would be vastly different. My kids just like your kids add something to the world that would be missing if they were any different. They've taught me lessons about myself and how I look at things, they light the room with their smiles. Each person adds something to life that no one else can fill.
I'm really ok to accept that there isn't a "cause" for a disability. I have never felt like a disability is a disability, it's simply a different way to contribute to life. I accept that these lives are perfectly and wonderfully made out of my control and I alone did not influence their abilities or disabilities. I'm writing this because I hope that someday this way of looking at abilities will be adopted by more people and maybe we can embrace disabilities and empower people to contribute to our world in any way they can.