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Author Topic: HA about autism  (Read 132 times)

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Offline BetseyJane

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HA about autism
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:37:49 PM »
Hi all,
New to the forum here.  I've suffered from anxiety off and on for years, but it was managable until I started having kids.  In college, I had a significant bout of health anxiety, mostly due to medical classes I was taking (I work in healthcare).  I was certain I had MS/Myasthenia Gravis/ALS/Lupus.  I, of course, did not.  From college until now (about 12 years) my anxiety was insignificant and really didn't impact me on a day to day basis (as I had developed a pretty good anti-anxiety regime of healthy diet, LOTS of hard exercise and plenty of sunshine)  However, now that I have kiddos, I've had 2 bouts of health anxiety about myself (once with MS again and once in my first pregnancy--I was sure that I had some placental issue--which I did not) And, I'm not able to get out as much and do the things that helped me control my anxiety as I had in the past. 

Since having kids, the anxiety has gone into overdrive.  I now have HA about my kid's health. I started worrying about autism when I was pregnant with my DD in 2011.  I was OBSESSIVE in her pregnancy about avoiding fish, household cleaners (other than vinegar), eating organic, taking my vitamins, etc. Eventhough I did all this, I was certain that my DD who is now 2.5 had some form of autism when she was younger (she does not).  I voiced these worries to my husband and other family members, who promptly thought I was nuts (not arguing there!).  However, this anxiety did make it hard for me to enjoy her babyhood.  Now, unfortunately, I'm doing it again.  Only it's worse this time.  I have a new baby, 3 month old little boy.  He's just the sweetest thing.  My pregnancy with him (a boy=higher risk of autism) was complicated, with some high BP (a risk factor for autism), DH is 37 and I was 35 when I had him ("older" parents=higher risk of autism) I was induced (a risk factor for autism) and when he was born he had (and still has) a high pitched cry (that can be related to autism according to a 2012 study). And now, because of all these "risk factors" I'm SURE he is going to develop autism.  I watch him constantly for the "signs" waiting for him to regress or have his development slow (as is common with babies who go on to develop autism).  It's terrible.  And what's worse, I KNOW that if he did develop autism, well, we would do anything we needed to do to help him reach his full potential.  It's not like autism is the end of the world.  The rationale part of my brain knows this!  And, why I'm focusing on autism, and not things like genetic disorders or childhood leukemia that are scarier and even deadly is BEYOND me.  But, I guess that's the thing about anxiety/OCD (I've been told by my therapist that my worries have an OCD quality about them)-- they aren't logical.  So, anyhow, here I am.  I'd love support and strategies to help me get through this.  I WANT to enjoy this baby, and love him for who he is, regardless of any outcome.  I want to be a calm, loving and supportive mother and wife.  anyhow, Hello, and thanks for reading.   :action-smiley-065:
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Offline PantsyAntsy

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Re: HA about autism
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2014, 01:17:41 PM »
I know how you feel. I have an 8 month old girl, and it definitely crosses my mind. I think all parents worry about it to some degree. At least all of my friends have at least thought about the what ifs, and most of them do not have HA. Unfortunately, its just one of those things that happens to some kids and the only response is to deal with it, ya know?

For myself,when I get unwanted thoughts, i just try to replace the thoughts with other ones, like. My baby is social or is so dang cute or don't think about autism. It doesn't always work, but oftentimes that is enough to snap myself out of it and redirect my brain.
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Offline BetseyJane

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Re: HA about autism
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2014, 06:30:14 PM »
Thank you Pantsy.  I know this is a common fear with our generation...it seems like autism is e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.  I'm glad I'm not the only one.  I really do want to get better and find peace and just enjoy my baby for who he is.  Your reply made me feel better.  Thanks again!
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Offline Bonzlee

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Re: HA about autism
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 10:20:39 PM »
Sounds like after your pregnancies your anxiety got worse. That happened for me with my first son. Have you had your thyroid checked? And not just the regular TSH test. They need to check free T3, free T4, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. The reverse T3 is most critical to check after pregnancy. Low thyroid function can cause severe anxiety. I had the same kind of anxiety with my first son, and 1 week after starting the right thyroid meds the anxiety went away.

Also, as a mom of a special needs kid, it's not the end of the world if your child has autism. There are so many things that can be done to help these kids. You learn a lot about yourself and about love and acceptance through working with them. There are more and more kids being diagnosed with autism, and pretty soon it will be so common they won't be considered so different. When my son was 6 a neuropsych told us he would never be cognitively normal and we should save for group home care when he's an adult. He's not almost 12 and goes to regular school with regular kids and he is pretty much on target for developmental tasks. He's a bit behind socially and writing is hard for him, but besides that he's just a typical boy. He is planning to be a robotics engineer when he grows up. I was very persistent and proved all the doctors wrong. So just enjoy your little boy and know if you need to help him down the line, you will definitely step up and do it!
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Offline BetseyJane

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Re: HA about autism
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 01:15:51 PM »
Thank you for your kind and reassuring reply.  My anxiety did get worse after my pregnancies, and I currently have a lab slip to get all that stuff checked out  :winking0008: So, my doc's thoughts were in line with yours, plus I do have a family history of thyroid disease (my mom and all her sibs have it).

Thank you again for sharing your experience.  I think that's the thing about anxiety.  It makes me write scary scripts in my mind, and then I discount my ability to deal with things. 

xo-betsey
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