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In the discussion thread: My son has autism [View all]

Response to Separation (Original post)

Sat Sep 13, 2014, 11:39 PM

3. I do understand that part about parents will do anything to make sense or try to find a cure.

 

My oldest son lost all of his hair to alopecia areata when he was just four years old. At first, it was devastating. I couldn't imagine how he could go through life bald. He had the most extreme version, called alopecia areata universalis, which means he lost all body hair, including his eyebrows and eyelashes. People assumed he had cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.

Lucky us, we connected to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation less than a year after he lost his hair, and started going to their yearly conferences. There I learned what I consider the two most important pieces of information about this: one, they have no idea really what causes it, and two there is no cure. Once I learned that I became free from the search to find the cure.

But over the years as I attended the conferences I saw parents desperately trying to find the magic cure. They'd cling to all sorts of dubious explanations, and cures. It was sad, but I understood because of how difficult it can be to have a child who is different.

And alopecia, in many ways, isn't all that bad. The person with it has nothing else going wrong. They're not sick, they're not disabled, they just don't have hair.

Then the younger son lost all of his hair when he was ten, but it was a piece of cake to deal with because we knew exactly what was going on.

And then, when older son was eighteen years old and halfway through his senior year of high school, we finally figured out that he is mildly autistic, he has Asperger's Syndrome. Now clearly, the alopecia and the Asperger's have no connection to each other, but there it is, someone who has to mildly disruptive/disabling things in his life.

The one thing I do know is that vaccines have nothing to do with my son's autism. He was different from the day he was born, only it wasn't strong enough to figure out, and then the alopecia sort of got in the way. I kept on thinking that the reason he behaved oddly was because he was treated differently because he looked strange. Not that I ever let that be an excuse for anything, but there it was.

Sometimes there are things we just cannot control, and it's my opinion that we need to simply make the best of whatever happens.

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Separation Sep 2014 OP
bvf Sep 2014 #1
LisaLynne Sep 2014 #2
LineReply I do understand that part about parents will do anything to make sense or try to find a cure.
SheilaT Sep 2014 #3
MADem Sep 2014 #8
deurbano Sep 2014 #17
MADem Sep 2014 #20
SheilaT Sep 2014 #24
MADem Sep 2014 #27
SheilaT Sep 2014 #28
Omaha Steve Sep 2014 #4
Voice for Peace Sep 2014 #5
1monster Sep 2014 #6
ReRe Sep 2014 #7
Separation Sep 2014 #12
Uncle Joe Sep 2014 #9
Separation Sep 2014 #10
Uncle Joe Sep 2014 #13
Separation Sep 2014 #11
onecaliberal Sep 2014 #14
BrotherIvan Sep 2014 #15
liberal_at_heart Sep 2014 #16
SHRED Sep 2014 #18
Separation Sep 2014 #31
SHRED Sep 2014 #34
Dr Hobbitstein Sep 2014 #19
pnwmom Sep 2014 #26
Dr Hobbitstein Sep 2014 #32
pnwmom Sep 2014 #35
Dr Hobbitstein Sep 2014 #36
pnwmom Sep 2014 #37
Dr Hobbitstein Sep 2014 #39
pnwmom Sep 2014 #40
shaayecanaan Sep 2014 #21
lumberjack_jeff Sep 2014 #22
Lilma Sep 2014 #23
pnwmom Sep 2014 #25
LeftishBrit Sep 2014 #29
Live and Learn Sep 2014 #30
Omaha Steve Sep 2014 #33
Name removed Sep 2014 #38
pnwmom Sep 2014 #41
Name removed Sep 2014 #42
Not a Fan Sep 2014 #43
phylny Sep 2014 #44
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