The biggest problem with natural parenting: it treats children as parental products, not people

total quality management

The biggest problem with natural parenting (besides the fact that it is not supported by science) is that natural parenting is deterministic. It views children as vessels for parental action and ambition, not as actual people with needs, desires and dreams that may differ from their parents.

At its heart, natural parenting, an affectation of Western, white, privileged parents, views a child as an object to be acted upon to create the desired result: an adult with specific middle to upper middle classes achievements: smart, talented, and ready to enter the economic competition of adulthood at a high level. “Average” children are a disappointment, and, according to the anti-vax crowd, autistic children are better off dead.

What’s striking about natural parenting is not merely that parents wish to raise children they can brag about, but that they think they have the recipe to do it.

That recipe includes:

  • unmedicated vaginal birth
  • extended, exclusive breastfeeding
  • rejection of vaccination
  • “pure” food (organic, no GMOs)
  • keeping the child often literally attached to the mother and thereby constantly controlling all experiences
  • the family bed, insuring no privacy for child or parent even at night

In other words, natural parenting is determininstic. What is determininism?

According to Wikipedia:

Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event, including human action, there exist conditions that could cause no other event.

There are many different kinds of determinism. In the setting of parenting, determinism stands for the proposition that it is parental actions that determine the characteristics of the person the child becomes.

Natural parenting is not about children. It is a recipe that parents can use to create an adult intellectually, socially and economically successful in an upper middle class Western, (and to a large extent, white) environment. Children are viewed as objects to be acted upon, shaped and molded. The actual child takes second place to the future adult that is purportedly being created.

This deterministic view of parenting has important implications for children, parents and social policy.

Consider breastfeeding. It is a paradigmatic case of natural parenting beliefs being turned in to public policy. When and why did the government think it should get involved in promoting breastfeeding, which in first world countries has only trivial benefits?

There’s not much question that the government has inserted itself into breastfeeding promotion at the behest of lactivists (breastfeeding activists), despite the fact that there couldn’t be a more intimate, fundamental personal choice than how women use their own breasts. Lactivists have their own motivations for making their personal infant feeding choice into an object of public policy. There is a lactivist industry whose financial health is directly tied to the amount of pressure to breastfeed brought to bear on new mothers. The task of supporting new mothers who choose to breastfeed has gone from a volunteer task (La Leche League) to a profession that charges $100 an hour or more to do the same thing. The economic growth of the lactivism industry is tied directly to official efforts to demonize formula feeding, locking up formula in hospitals, forcing women to sign breastfeeding “contracts,” and overall efforts to make bottle feeding an object of social scorn. Moreover, lactivists themselves benefit from the psychological boost that comes from being able to claim success at an infant feeding method that is ostensibly so important that the government feels compelled to promote it.

Obviously the lactivist industry did not lobby for lactivist policies by declaring they would benefit from it. They lobbied by implying that breastfeeding has the power to create better, smarter, healthier (and therefore less expensive) individuals. Fill the child with breastmilk and presto, an ideal adult will be produced! The truth is, no matter how desperately lactivists insist that breastfeeding prevents the chronic disease of adulthood in privileged societies, breastfeeding is just one way of feeding a child and has no impact on the adult that is produced.

Lactivism, like all of natural parenting, is a one size fits all policy. The fundamental assumptions of lactivism is that ALL children will do “better” if breastfed, that ALL women make enough breastmilk to satisfy the needs of ALL infants, that EVERY child’s brain is “improved” by breastfeeding, and that ALL women should be more concerned with using their breasts to feed babies than their minds and talents to work outside the home and meet any of their own needs. Those assumptions are flat out false.

The more important issue, though, is what breastfeeding policy tells us about the way we conceptualize children. We don’t see them as people, unique individuals with unique needs. We see them as future adults, guaranteed to become the adults we desire if only the parents fill them with the correct inputs. But any parent who has more than one child knows that the parenting strategies that make one child happy may be utterly wrong for another child who has the same parents, in the same family, growing up with the same economic and socio-cultural conditions.

The implications of the determinism of natural parenting are enormous, ranging from anti-vaccine advocacy, where parents are more concerned about the purported creation of a socially and economically non-competitive autistic child than whether that same child lives or dies; to hysteria about parents letting their children out of their sight to walk home from the park unattended; to parenting choices that not so coincidentally place extraordinary stress and responsibility on mothers and force women to stay in the home.

The message that natural parenting sends, particularly to mothers, is, “It’s all up to you.” and if things don’t work out, “It’s all your fault.”

Parenting is NOT deterministic. Yes, parents can screw up children (it takes a tremendous amount of neglect and abuse to do so), but parents can’t create perfect adults no matter how desperately they wish they could. And good parents can, with the best effort and intentions, raise children who are average or below average, emotionally fragile, subject to the perils of addiction, or even criminals.

Fortunately, most children are resilient. If they were not, I would fear we are raising a generation that will struggle because we ignore who CHILDREN are, their needs, desires, dreams, talents and limitations, in favor the ADULTS that parents desire they become.

  • Charlotte Davies

    What an incredibly sane, sensible argument. And in case anyone reads this article and feels angry that it is attacking natural parenting, it really is not. As some have pointed out below, it’s about warning us not to believe that if we exactly follow the traditional list of natural parenting concepts (or any other list, for that matter) then somehow magically our children will become better, healthier, cleverer people. By all means be green, co-sleeping and all the rest, if that suits you, your values and your family. If breastfeeding works for you – fantastic. I personally have a mixed set of values from having two children, some of which may be called ‘natural’, some not. I don’t feel the need to explain or defend any of these choices because frankly it’s none of anyone else’s business. But please don’t be so naรฏve as to think that if you take on a certain set of approaches in raising your child, a certain result will ensue. It just won’t – life is unfortunately not that simple. Your child will have increasingly diverse influences upon him/her as they grow and become more independent, and you can’t control them forever. And there is always the danger of resenting your child when they are older for not turning out to be the person you thought they should be. Which wouldn’t be great for them, would it?

  • The title of this article indicates that you are against children being treated as products. Are you also against public school for this reason?

  • luciskk

    Hug Profit With the skepticalob click and Continue Reading

  • jenny

    “Parenting is NOT deterministic. Yes, parents can screw up children
    (it takes a tremendous amount of neglect and abuse to do so), but
    parents canโ€™t create perfect adults no matter how desperately they wish
    they could. And good parents can, with the best effort and intentions,
    raise children who are average or below average, emotionally fragile,
    subject to the perils of addiction, or even criminals.

    Fortunately, most children are resilient. If they were not, I would
    fear we are raising a generation that will struggle because we ignore
    who CHILDREN are, their needs, desires, dreams, talents and limitations,
    in favor the ADULTS that parents desire they become.”

    Love this. Love, love, love this.

  • Lauren

    OT: I watched the first episode of “The Slap” last week and lo, the little boy who ends up getting slapped is a child of AP hippie granola parents.
    Quite aside from the fact that the mom follows him around picking up things he’s thrown and knocked to the floor the whole episode, making excuses like ‘he didn’t mean anything by it’ when he pulls out collector and rare vinyl albums out and throws them across the room, and he snarks and snips and yells at every other human (children and adults) he encounters, aside from mommy and daddy, and that he is clearly at least 4 or 5 years old and STILL BREASTFED at his whiny request, his father sums up the lunacy of treating your child like an object in his statement, (and I’m paraphrasing from memory, so it is not verbatim):
    “our children are special and beyond our very comprehension. They aren’t ours to understand or control, they are our honored guests for 18 years before they take their illustrious space in the world”

    What. The. HELL.
    Sadly, very, very sadly, I am way too familiar with this rhetoric!
    If you ever get beyond the surface of the Waldorf school or Anthroposophy by Rudolph Steiner, you will know only too well where this nonsense comes from.
    AP isn’t a far cry from either — many of the basic rules and tenets are the same in fact. One more reason I left that type of education for the ‘nasty mainstream public education’ world.

    ***let me point out that this in no way is a statement that AP guarantees a spoiled brat (which is what that character is) but simply observing that said brat also happened to be a child of AP and woo parents. I’m sure there are lots of lovely children with AP households.
    It is however, my own limited experience, which does not speak for all parents, that woo and AP come with a heavy dose of permissive parenting as well.***

    • Smoochagator

      I wonder what sorts of experiences the writers of that show had that led them to create such whacked-out characters!

  • B’s mom

    This article is ridiculous and chock full of sweeping generalizations. I vaccinate my child, because duh–but I also breastfeed and plan on letting her self wean, co-sleep, because it’s what gets us more sleep, baby wear, because she likes it, and try to eat as healthy as possible with what we can afford. I also had an unmedicated vaginal birth…as if there’s something wrong with that? Seriously, what happened to people doing what works for them and their family, and everyone else minding their own business? And as much as I think SOME lactavists can be too pushy–breastfeeding women NEED support. It takes a lot of work in the beginning, and I’m more than grateful for the many women who volunteer their time to help women such as myself facilitate a successful breastfeeding relationship. Every single women that has helped me with breastfeeding was nothing short of amazing, and I never once felt pushed into it. Sod off.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      You seem to have missed the point of the piece. The point is NOT that any of these things are wrong. The point is that these philosophies treat children as if they are objects to be acted upon with the intent of creating successful adults, instead of treating children as individuals with individuals needs and desires.

    • Wren

      Baby wear because your baby likes it? Fine. So did I, with my second. My first hated it and I felt like I must have done something wrong because I bought into the whole AP thing and it wasn’t working.

      Co sleep because it works for your family? Fine, as long as you do it safely.

      Unmedicated vaginal birth? Fine, as long as it’s safe for you and baby and is your choice. Not at all fine if a c-section is needed to get baby out ok or if the woman wants pain relief which is denied to her.

      Breastfeed because you want to? Fine. Breastfeeding because you are pushed into it or told it’s the only way to be a good mother? Not fine.

      Eating healthy? Since when is that not fine?

      It’s not the individual choices that are wrong. It’s the motivation and the insistence that those choices are the way to mould your child into the desired result with little to no regard for the individual needs of that child. If the latter doesn’t apply to you, then why take offence?

    • demodocus’ spouse

      There’s a difference between lactivists and people who just promote breastfeeding. The LC I saw at the hospital last year was not a lactivist, for all that I disliked her. Lactivists are the extremists.

    • Cobalt

      Are you making these choices because they are the best options of what’s available to you, or because an external ideology has told you those are the best options?

    • Stacy48918

      Just because YOU haven’t experienced the pressure and guilt of the natural childbirth/lactivist/attachment parenting culture doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      There are MANY people that say that if you have an epidural you are harming your baby. If you supplement with formula you are harming your baby. If you dare to push your child in a stroller rather than wear her in a sling you won’t be properly attached to your child.

      If you have never come up against these types, consider yourself lucky. But it does exist and many of us have been afflicted by these views.

    • Who?

      You seem quite angry and defensive for someone who is doing what works well for you and making really positive choices based on good experiences.

    • KarenJJ

      “And as much as I think SOME lactavists can be too pushy”

      Well, there you go. You agree with the post then.

      As for the rest of your choices: I don’t care if you don’t care. “Natural” parenting and “natural” childbirth; seriously nobody cares, and if they do then they’re trying to sell you something or boost their ego about their own choices. It’s branding and very little more.

    • Lauren

      You missed the point entirely and went straight to “I’m being attacked! ME! Me personally! MY CHOICES are under attack!”

      That is not at all what the piece is saying. DrAmy states quite clearly, that there is a ‘recipe’ to Attachment Parenting, and the specific reason for adopting this recipe towards your child will guarantee a better child and a better adult. If it goes wrong, then the AP parents did it wrong.

      It’s no better than the over-academic forced ‘learning’ that yuppie parents do with their children at home before Kindergarten. Their unique recipe for a ‘superior student’ hinges on ‘early starts’, so they invest time and money into getting their 2-3 year old to hold a pencil, print their ABC’s, recognize colours, count to 20, and on and on and on, all in the name of ‘my kid is more ready for Kindergarten than yours is!’ That is categorically wrong — you’ve just created a problem for the teacher and made learning almost impossible for your child, which is not a ‘head start’.

      There is no recipe to a great child and an amazing adult, but AP specifically claims that yes, there is, if only you’d buy these books and listen to these celebrities. THAT is the point of the piece.

    • GiddyUpGo123

      Wait … volunteer their time?? Every lactation consultant I ever saw charged $100 an hour for each visit. Each visit. Yeah, I needed help and support, no way could I afford to pay for multiple visits from a lactation consultant at that rate, and I never heard of any lactation consultant generously “volunteering” her time.

    • Nathalie

      I had my kids by C-section, they are vaccinated, we breastfeed until they want to wean, introduce solids as finger food, co-sleep, wear them and like it, eat organically grown food. Even better: My husband is a vegan!!! To every family their way. My sister is a smoking mother, she stopped breastfeeding for example after a few weeks. Her baby will grow too and it will be ok too. Raising kids is not the easiest thing to do in the world, and most parents want to do their best to help their children grow up. But there is not one recipe that is good for every family.

  • Daleth

    We’re formula feeding our twins, both because we had a rough postpartum period (me hospitalized and very ill, them in the NICU) that made nursing extremely difficult so my milk didn’t come in in sufficient quantities, and because it turns out (who knew!) that taking care of preemie twins while recovering from your own complications is extraordinarily difficult and the only way to pump enough is to spend like 6 hours/day attached to a breastpump as opposed to actually taking care of your babies.

    I’ve felt really bad about that, *even though* I’ve seen the studies indicating that the benefits of BF are minuscule in the developed world, so I can well imagine a woman who was truly steeped in the woo feeling horrifically depressed.

    But it recently occurred to me, as we were sitting there feeding our babies the super high-end, calorie-dense, “biodynamic” (ultra-organic) European formula we chose, that the formula was probably actually better for them than my breast milk: it came from cows who’ve literally spent their lives eating grass and local organic hay in Alpine meadows, not from a mom who’s spent her life in polluted cities and sometimes eats at Qdoba.

    And I’ve heard of women whose breastmilk seems totally adequate but turns out–when investigated due to the babies’ failure to thrive–to be very poor in calories and/or nutrients. For instance, I saw a news story about an EBF mom whose baby was diagnosed with rickets because the mom had very low vitamin D; also, a woman on Fearless Formula Feeder posted about how her breast milk only had half the calories it should have.

    In addition to causing problems for the baby in infancy, I wouldn’t be surprised if calorie-poor breastmilk caused epigenetic changes that inclined the child towards obesity, because the baby’s body would “learn” from that breast milk that it was in a deprived environment and needed to store all the fat it could.

    • Mac Sherbert

      Enjoy your babies. They are fed and loved. I don’t live a crunchy area…it’s very normal for women to go straight to formula here. They have no guilt about it and you shouldn’t either.

      • Daleth

        Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • expat

    Homebirthed, homeschooled children’s midwife neglected to get birth certificates. Now,they struggle to prove citizenship. Parental control freak behavior backfires when child escapes their bubble.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/14/homeschool-teen-can-t-prove-she-s-an-american.html

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I don’t really believe the midwife, if she had one, forgot. And unless one is completely clueless, every person/parent I know knew they had to get birth certificates AND Social Security Numbers for their kids. You need the SSN to claim the kid as a dependent. These people have 9 kids. So they and their midwife forgot to get birth certificates 9 times. I don’t think so. I kinda doubt they have filed their taxes regularly either. Guess the rules don’t apply to them:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2952933/Grandfather-girl-doesn-t-exist-reveals-rescued-turned-18-grid-Christian-parents-nenver-registered-birth.html

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        They want to force their kids to stay in their insular little world (not unlike the Duggars), without a birth certificate and with no Social Security card she would not be able to get a job, a driver’s license, a passport. She can not buy a house or sign a contract, or vote, or open a bank account. Legally she does not exist. I have know smothering, overprotective parents who don’t want to let their kids grow up but this is horrible. I wonder what the other kids a re doing. She is the 4th of 9.

        • Mishimoo

          Hopefully they’ll turn out okay, my siblings and I did.

          The only reason I had a copy of my birth certificate is because I ‘stole’ it from my parents, along with my court documents when I was getting married. Later, I ended up with my original birth certificate, which I had been told was burnt years ago.

          • Who?

            We’ve been following this young woman, she popped up on the Daily Beast too.

            In case you haven’t seen it, my brand of mixed frozen berries is now on the recall list:
            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-15/second-brand-of-frozen-mixed-berries-recalled/6106490

            Does anyone know: is the Hep A bug killed by heating/cooking? I put some in a baked biscuit slice that I served to a group of friends, most of the rest-in its raw state, unfortunately-went over the christmas pav.

          • Mishimoo

            I hope she gets the documents that she needs, it’s so unfair! Especially since her parents were/are trying to ruin her name.

            I did see that, I’m going to talk to our GP about getting the Hepatitis A vaccine for our family. Not just because of the berry issue, but because my sister works in a remote community and my kids go to a school where some students go on missions trips + overseas holidays. (and we all know there will be some anti-vaxxers in the parents)

            According to http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Hepatitis_A_affects_the_liver the virus is resistant to heating and freezing, and has a incubation period of 15-50 days, with the average being 28 days. If no one is sick yet, then you probably didn’t unknowingly infect anyone.

          • Who?

            Yes her family sounds like whatever the plural of ‘a piece of work’ is.

            Thanks for that info-I’ll phone the gp about the jabs. Fingers crossed noone was affected by it. I’m annoyed that I didn’t pay better attention-I’m pretty sure the ones I had came from NZ but apparently they import things from all over, process them ie mix and bag, then they are labelled ‘Product of NZ’.

        • I grew up knowing kids like this in the backwoods Missouri community I was reared in. They were born at home with the help of church “midwives”, if they’re male, they are working construction at a very early age, no vaccinations, and they don’t become known to the system until one inevitably attracts the attention of social services– and even then it’s dependent upon someone on the outside noticing or caring enough to make the myriad of calls until finding someone who pays attention.

          I dated one as a teenager, his family had left the church some years ago and were still being stalked by the father, and he had so many problems. They treated cavities by applying diesel fuel with a q-tip.

          The level of dysfunction in these communities can’t be overstated. This girl was lucky to have escaped and I wish her every happiness.

      • Jennifer2

        If they don’t regularly pay taxes, that would be the height of irony, as Mr. Pennington is a tax attorney.

      • Busbus

        We had a home birth in the US, and we went to file for our son’s birth certificate a few days after he was born. I can’t remember anymore if the midwife signed anything for us, but I know that she wasn’t there with us and it didn’t have anything to do with her. We had to bring our baby and it was very easy. This is not the midwife’s responsibility, it’s the parent’s. I kind of doubt that a midwife could even file for you, as far as I know, you and the baby have to be there in person. What a f’d up story.

      • Liz Leyden

        Her father is a tax lawyer, yet he never got social security numbers for any of his 9 kids?

        Her situation isn’t that new. My grandmother was born in the segregated South in the 1920s.My parents were born there in the 1940s. If you couldn’t get into a Black hospital, you had your baby at home, whether you wanted a home birth or not. Many of their contemporaries did not have birth certificates because they were born at home, with a midwife. They usually had a Family Bible or baptismal certificate for a birth record.
        The U.S. State Department’s passport web site lists a number of ways that a person with no birth record can get a passport.
        http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/secondary-evidence.html

      • deafgimp

        In her website before she scrubbed it they stated that they intentionally did not get the birth certificate and SSN. They basically follow sovereign citizen hogwash while beating their baby for a half an hour because he wouldn’t say “hi mommy” and because he’d cry when he was hit with a backscratcher (since it stings a little but is otherwise entirely appropriate for a one year old).

        • Nick Sanders

          Holy shit, โ€ฆjust, holy shit.

          • Mishimoo

            It’s what the Pearls preach in their book ‘To Train Up A Child’. Sadly, it’s pretty common in some sects.

          • Stacy48918

            We had it on our shelf….. ๐Ÿ™

          • Mishimoo

            Aww, I’m sorry!

            My parents mixed those beliefs with Dobson’s, so my neck is kinda messed up from the neckpinch (and I hate having people behind me if we’re arguing), and my lower back is likewise wrecked (whether that was from the wooden coathanger/spoon, from my joint condition, or a mix of both, is hard to sort out)

            I prefer short timeouts and genuine discussions (not lectures), with a sharp “NO” serving rather well to get their attention if they’re about to hurt themselves. It honestly surprises me how well behaved my kids are, because I was raised to believe that the only way to adequately ‘discipline’ kids was to smack them. I genuinely regret (and have apologised for) smacking my siblings and I’m glad that I realised with them that talking was a better option. It’s also refreshing to realise that defiance is normal and can be healthy.

            How is coming out of that ‘style’ working for you and your kids?

          • Who?

            One of the things I never got about hitting was when is a child ‘too old’? It never appealed to me as a style of discipline, and it always felt like something that would one day run out, probably on a day when I really needed it. I tried it a few times but didn’t persist.

            And I’m sorry anyone would ever pinch, well, anyone, for discipline. It must be a lot calmer in the house and family where there is not the constant threat of violence.

            Making changes is hard, you should be proud of what you are doing-and Stacy4918 too.

          • Mishimoo

            The idea, I think, is that they’re expecting it to be a Proverbs 22:6 situation – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – so smacking is phased out slowly as the child ages because the bad behaviour is basically beaten out of them and smacking becomes unneeded. It does work, but that doesn’t make it good. I stopped being smacked when I was 15, about the time when I started dating my now-husband.

            For myself, I’ve had to work really hard on being able to voice a dissenting opinion, set healthy boundaries, or argue with my parents. (Thank you 1 Samuel 15:23 and Exodus 22:18)

            Thank you! It is a much calmer and happier household, there’s hardly any sibling rivalry and my kids are both confident and genuinely nice. Parenting is so much easier than I expected.

          • Who?

            Wow. I never did read my bible, I’m starting to think it’s good there are things I’ve missed.

            Yes learning to find your voice would be difficult when people have spent years beating it out of you.

            Sounds like you are making a lovely family.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh, there’s quite a bit in there that is messed up. At times it was the only book I was allowed to read, which isn’t all that great for a kid, considering the content.

            Thanks! I think they’re lovely, but I’m a bit biased.

          • Lauren

            ‘Smacking’ or hitting a child does NOT work – your own story illustrates that. Sadly I see that in my profession (but thankfully, less and less over time).
            I’m so sorry you had to live your childhood like that. Kudos and congratulations on growing beyond it and giving your own children a much better experience!
            Not everyone from your situation is able to do that, you should be proud of who you’ve become.
            ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Mishimoo

            Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I just don’t want them to ever feel like I did/do, I want better things for them and so does my husband. It’s nice to have the support and a reminder that we’re not going to ruin them by being ‘soft’.

            What I meant by ‘works’ is that the hitting coupled with shaming, religion (God talks to us, going against us is going against God), and finally repentance and reconciliation (confessing of sins, apologising, and cuddling + praying together) was able to modify my behaviour for quite some years. Even now, I feel guilty and anxious just typing about it.

          • Stacy48918

            It’s been so easy and natural to come out of that lifestyle. I think that somewhere deep down I knew it wasn’t right…but when you’re trying to “live for God” you learn to suppress your own thoughts and feelings. After all “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”.

          • Mishimoo

            I am so happy for you, that is awesome.

            And yes, I can completely relate to that, specifically “Lean not on your own understanding…”. It was hard to unlearn some of that stuff, but definitely worthwhile.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “And yes, I can completely relate to that, specifically “Lean not on your own understanding…”. It was hard to unlearn some of that stuff, but definitely worthwhile.’

            Brings back memories. I agree with everything you are saying. Glad to be raising my kids in a household very different than the one I was raised in. (I think even my parents would agree with that, they are still religious but no longer anywhere near as fundamentalist as they used to be.)

          • Mishimoo

            I’m glad that you’re raising your kids differently too. Kids deserve so much better than that!

          • Who?

            I’m getting gladder by the second for my lack of bible reading.

            Glad to hear it is going well for you.

          • Welcome to the world of Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy, where it is considered right and just to beat your kids into joyful submission (seriously, any emotion shown that is not contentedness or happiness is met with beatings, and actual disobedience … well, I give you one guess). Love, Joy, Feminism is my go-to to learn more about it. It’s written by a woman who escaped that particular *ahem* lifestyle, though her parents did get her and her siblings all their documents.

            You might want to keep a barf bucket handy.

          • Nick Sanders

            I’ve done some reading about the Quiverfull movement before. It tends to be bad for my opinion of humanity.

          • Well, yes. This particular blog I like because she’s out of QF, so while she does eviscerate it some, she also talks about feminism and gentle parenting and homeschooling (she’s all sorts of favor of regulating it) and atheism. Also, while the commentariat isn’t as generally scientifically literate as this one (it’s not normal for me to be the ignorant one!), I like the community a lot.

            But yeah, reading about QF is not good for one’s opinion of humanity.

          • Stacy48918

            Vyckie Garrison and No Longer Qivering (“there is no ‘u’ in QF”) writes about this QF, homebirth, etc as well. There is also a good FB support group.

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/

            There was a time my hubby didn’t want to get SSNs or birth certificates either. Thank goodness we ultimately did. I’m so glad to be out of that nonsense.

      • Ash

        If you want to read more about likeminded people (gag) , look at “unschooling” forums online. There is a subset of those folks that believe that obtaining a SSN for your kid is unnecessarily enslaving your family to the government.

    • Cobalt

      Your kid’s identity belongs to your kid and it is your parental responsibility to safeguard it while they are small and hand it over once they are adults. To fail to do so is abuse and neglect.

  • Emily

    I think this is spot-on about natural parenting philosophies stemming from determinism. That parent actions (and mainly parent actions) determine who the child becomes. I think there are other destructive ways parents do this (obsessing about ‘enrichment activities’; choosing their children’s friends long after the child is able to do so; etc.) It’s so important to just pay attention to who your child is and what they need (and also what the family needs).

  • anotheramy

    This is the nonsense natural parenting/ breast is best/ lactivism gets us: A woman in my babycenter message board posted that her full-term, exclusively breastfed baby was born @ 7# 7oz and now at 4 months old weighs 10 lbs!! The doc wanted her to supplement with formula, but she didn’t because “it’s a slippery slope”. She posted a pic and he is a freakin’ skinny baby. You can see his freakin’ sternum and ribs! ๐Ÿ™ Even his face looks thin. A few morons even replied something like “he looks fine to me/ he’s just a thin, healthy baby/ doctors are JUST concerned about the numbers, not preserving the breastfeeding relationship.”

    A couple days later she posted an update saying all the things that she’s doing to try to increase her milk supply she was supplementing with goat’s milk (without her doctor’s knowledge) because it’s more natural and naturally homogenized and a few other woo-static things… Her baby gained a few oz in a couple of days, and the doctor suggested doubling the supplement so he gains even more. Her response? To stop supplementing because she & her natural mama’s group believe the weight increase was due to her increased milk supply, not the supplement and “The doctor wants to double the supplement? See, I told you supplementing was a slippery slope!” She feels the situation is not urgent now, so she’ll stop supplementing for a week and if he doesn’t gain, then she’ll give him bm donated by someone in her LLL.

    I just can’t even fathom not supplementing when a baby’s weight is so low. Just for a freakin’ imaginary “exclusively breastfed” or “all natural” label or medal?! I remember how heartbreaking it was when my dd was 2 WEEKS old and not gaining well, and how guilty I felt thinking I “starved” her.
    Most posters responded quite rationally, urging her to use formula now for God’s sake and there was talk of reporting her to CPS. My last post said “and this nonsense is what the “breast is best”, lactivist nonsense gets us. As a mom who breastfeeds and supplements I am so annoyed at the push for EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding, and this just pushes me over the edge.

    • Kq

      These stories make me so angry

      • anotheramy

        I know. I was glad to see that almost all of the responses were along the lines of “Do what your doctor says!”. The original poster never returned after stating her plan to stop supplementing.

    • toni

      How much should a 4 month old weigh? My son was a chubster doubled his weight by two months (he was small-ish to begin with though) and the doctor said it’s not usually til around six months that they double their birth weight. So this lady’s baby should be about 14lb by sixth months(?) ten doesn’t sound that low to me for 4 months.. seems really arbitrary sometimes. Like my neice always seemed so skinny to me as a baby but the paed was never concerned… it’s more about the trajectory isn’t it, rather than the actual numbers? in any case she just do what her child’s doctor says… why the hell do they even have doctors if they think they just talk out of their asses all the time and ignore everything they say

      • anotheramy

        My dd weighed 12# at 3 months and was in the 40th percentile. 10 # is well below the 5th percentile on the chart. But, admittedly, I’m not an expert on reading those charts.

      • Cobalt

        My less than 6 pound newborn was 11 pounds at 2.5 months. They should gain around 2 pounds per month the first 6 months; a baby that starts at 7.5 pounds should be in the neighborhood of 15 pounds by 4 months. Only gaining 2.5 pounds (barely a quarter of what’s expected!) in 4 months is a flag, that combined with visual loss of condition and rapid gain with supplementation suggests the regular diet is inadequate.

        • Amy M

          I don’t remember what my boys weighed at 4mos, but I do remember that they always gained at a normal rate. They always were (and still are) barely on the charts, but they stuck to their trajectories like glue. I remember hearing something about 3x/birth weight at a year? I don’t know if that is true, but they were more than 3x but less than 4x birth weight at a year.

        • We were taught that “normal average” growth was “double the birth weight at 6 months, triple the birth weight in a year”.
          None of my children, and now neither of my grandchildren conformed to that paradigm. Some were heavier, some lighter than what they “should” be. None of the heavier ones were conspicuously fat, most were unusually long for their age as well.

          At which point I tended to throw away the books. As you say, it’s more a question of the way a baby looks and acts that shows whether the weight gain is adequate or not.

      • Paula

        My son was born 6 lb 3 oz and weighed 13 lb 15 oz at 4 months, my daughter was born 6 lbs 10 oz and weighed 12 lb 11 oz at 4 months.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I don’t know about 4 mos, but my EBF nieces was 26 lbs at 6 mos

          She was a BIG kid

          • Cobalt

            Dear God that’s a lot of baby.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            She looked like the Michelin Man, with rolls of skin on her arms and legs

          • That’s actually not healthy. Fat babies used to be thought to be healthy, because thin babies were probably starved, but since most of a person’s fat cells are laid down in the first year of life [and we have modern medicine to deal with illness], a really fat baby is already at risk for lifelong obesity problems [your fat cells get bigger, you don’t get more of them, apparently]

            I’ve seen this quite a bit in EBF babies where the mother uses her breast as a pacifier, so essentially the baby is eating non-stop.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Mom wasn’t using her breast as a pacifier. The best assessment they’ve been given is that her milk had a very high fat content.

            It was also a case of big bones. I know that every parent tries that claim, but this was certainly the case here. For example, the girls’ aunts on their dad’s side are all big boned women, and not overweight, and while none were to the extreme of that one niece, they were all similarly big as babies. My niece’s little sister was “only” about 20 lbs at 6 mos. Her older sister doesn’t have the bone structure, and was more like 16 lbs.

            They’ve all grown up to have bodies similar to their aunts. None are overweight or anything, they just have big bones.

            So it was genetic, and the one niece just went to the extreme.

            Then again, she was 26 lbs at 6 mo and didn’t gain any more until after her 1st birthday. She grew into it.

          • wookie130

            Sheesh! And I thought my 17.5 lb 6 month old was a larger baby!

      • Montserrat Blanco

        My 4 month old preemie weights about that. His corrected age (the age he should be if he was born at term) is 2 months so yes, 10 lbs. Is pretty low for that age. With 10 lbs. at 4 months you are outside the charts.

        The problem is not the doctor’s obsession with the numbers. The problem is that bad nutrition for an infant means bad neurological development. It has been studied in underdeveloped countries. It can have a major impact in adult life.

        • toni

          what i meant was that the doctor is probably looking at the consistency of the weight gain so even though 10lbs sounds okay for 4 months it’s not ok if she put on three of those lbs in the first month and then only 1lb for the other month. but as you say 10lbs is off the chart low for a 4 month old so nevermind!

          • toni

            other months*

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I only know because I checked for my son ๐Ÿ™‚ . When I entered his height and weight with his real age (not corrected age) he was way off the charts.

    • Emily

      My daughter weighed 10 lbs. at 4 months. She also wasn’t gaining well as a newborn because I am not a natural milk fountain! lol. We started supplementing with formula when she was 1 week old under the advice of her doctor (and with the help and encouragement of some great lactation consultants). She was just small. I felt like a failure for not being able to give her enough milk. I was so scared because, at another point in history, she might not have made it. I was grateful that there was formula that she could have. She didn’t like it much, but it got her through the scary times and she’s a healthy, brilliant toddler now.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I read a similar story recently at a Spanish natural parenting website. That baby was actually losing weight and the mother said she did not want to supplement because “you know where it leads to”. She was afraid of what the pediatrician would say at their next appointment. Some comments said “it is probably a problem with the scale”. Some of them recommended supplements, even a lactation consultant recommended supplements. She did not come back to say what she had done.

      I am sure breastmilk is great. I did my best to try to exclusively breastfeed my son. But I gave him supplements in order to keep him alive and healthy when I was not able to produce enough breastmilk for him. I had that dream about how lovely breastfeeding was and how my son would be happy with it and so on and I let it go in order to feed him properly.

      • Samantha06

        “That baby was actually losing weight and the mother said she did not want to supplement because “you know where it leads to”.

        Yeah, like leading to weight gain and a healthier baby… just goes to prove it’s really all about the mom and the “breast feeding experience” not the baby’s health.. sad

        • “That baby was actually losing weight and the mother said she did not want to supplement because “you know where it leads to”.

          It will lead to death if not corrected, lady.

    • Theoneandonly

      That’s insanity! My 10 week old who was born 7lb2oz at 35+6 is now over 11lb! That’s fully breastfed, as she got formula through an NG tube in NICU, but just last week I was questioning whether she was getting enough (tongue tie issues) and wondered if I should start supplementing.
      I can’t believe some people!

    • Medwife

      That’s heartbreaking. They talk so much about epigenetics in that crowd, I wonder how spending your first 4 months on a near starvation diet affects your future risk for diabetes etc?

    • Allie P

      I spent a few weeks listening to the lactivists (from the hospital!) who encouraged me to ignore my doc’s advice and not supplement my jaundiced, starving baby because it would “ruin” my ability to breastfeed. Finally my mother and a wonderful lady from the local LLL (not all breastfeeding advocates are bad!) convinced me that breastfeeding was breastfeeding, and it was up to ME whether I stopped or not, even if it was more for comfort than nutrition. We successfully combo fed (with formula) for 10 months. That was around the time I found skepOB and realized that I’d fallen for woo, despite thinking I was immune.

      I’m planning on trying to BF again with my new baby, but I’m NOT going to sacrifice my baby’s health in the early days to do so. I’m delivering in one of those dreaded “baby friendly” hospitals, though, so I think that means I have to bring my own formula/bottles if I want to supplement.

      • SporkParade

        I thought I was immune to woo, too, especially since I read SOB religiously before giving birth. But I made the mistake of trusting that the hospital nurses wouldn’t risk dehydration in a newborn in order to boast about their breastfeeding rate. Silly me.

        • Who?

          That was really unprofessional of them. And how were you to know that they weren’t giving proper advice-they were entirely appropriate people for you to trust, and they let you down.

          It’s really hard to keep talking about quacks giving bad (as in wrong and dangerous) advice when those who should know better do the same thing.

          I trust baby came out of it fine and so did you.

          • SporkParade

            Yes, thank goodness. In all fairness, it was a nurse who turned things around by asking, after he had already lost 10% of body weight, if I wanted her to give him a bottle. But she had to recommend it obliquely because “My job is to tell you to breastfeed.”

          • Who?

            Good on her in the end. Babies are pretty tough, but finding you’ve been playing chicken with their capacity to bounce back is not a good feeling.

    • What is going on is that, if the supplement helps, the mother is actually at fault [i.e. inadequate] for not producing enough milk. Failure! Oh, the guilt! I guess I’m not a “real woman”! This is crushing to the insecure mom.
      Motherhood for women like this is a declaration of identity and femininity, not about raising the next generation.

    • Dr Kitty

      A birthweight of 7lbs7oz is 3.3kg.

      Using WHO growth charts, and assuming born at 40w that puts him between 9th and 25th centiles.
      Meaning that at 4months his weight should be between 5.5 and 6.5kg (12 and 14 lbs).

      At 10lbs (4.5kg) he is below the 0.4th centile and is hitting 3 SD below the mean.

      This is using the WHO growth charts WHICH ARE BASED ON BREASTFED INFANTS.

      This baby is BY DEFINITION well past faltering growth (failure to thrive) and into areas of serious concern about malnutirition and starvation.

      You can check my working on the growth charts for yourself:

      http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/system/files/protected/page/BOYS%20NICM%20(4th%20Jan%202013).pdf

      If that baby doesn’t get fed soon, not only is he running serious risks to himself, but his mother may be looking at defending herself from accusation of neglect or child endangerment.

      • anotheramy

        I know. ๐Ÿ™ so sad. A lot of ppl pointed out the risk of child neglect accusations.

    • Roadstergal

      “As a mom who breastfeeds and supplements”

      Oh, but you don’t exist, because nipple confusion.

      (I get this desk-shaped imprint on my forehead whenever that’s ‘explained’ to me by my totally non-woo-y-scientifically-up-to-date friend.)

      • anotheramy

        “But you don’t exist because nipple confusion” hahaha. Awesome! I posted on another topic on babycenter that low milk supply is not *only* caused by poor advice, but is a real problem even when mother’s do everything “right” and I believe true low milk supply likely more common than the 1% of woman often quoted by lactivists There was so much opposition to that, it was like I said I like to kick puppies and make babies cry for fun. My favorite response was ” low milk supply is not more common than thought! if you want to formula feed, fine, but don’t hide behind low milk supply.” After I shared I did everything LLL and LCs said and still couldn’t *exclusively* breastfeed any of my 3 kids. So, yeah, according to lactivists, I definitely don’t exist. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Who?
    • Mishimoo

      Thanks for sharing that! It’s not the brand I usually buy, but it’s good to know just in case they’re from the same supplier.

    • araikwao

      Yikes, I buy their frozen raspberries, but they’re not recalling them…

  • GiddyUpGo123

    Amy’s comment about how some parents seem to believe that “autistic children are better off dead” struck a cord with me, as did this article I read a few days ago written by the mother of an autistic child who was deeply disturbed by the very popular idea that people like her son need to be “prevented.”

    I have an ADHD child. She has been such a challenge for us–she has no sense of self-preservation (once, she jumped off a moving fairground ride because she was tired of being on it), she lives entirely in the moment so does not respond to either promises of reward or punishment unless they are immediate (star charts or other systems of earning rewards don’t work with her). Those qualities may make for challenging children but they can also be found in very successful adults. Living for the moment, taking risks, being brave–those are all good qualities, provided you have the intelligence to temper your impulses.

    My point being, I wouldn’t change anything about her … she is what she is and she has lots of really wonderful qualities. Not only can I not see the point of implementing some formula that would turn my kids into perfect, cookie-cutter adults, but it seems like it would take a lot of joy out of watching your children grow up with all their own unique quirks, talents and flaws.

    • yugaya

      Last week I had to go in detail over all the things about my kids and their growing up, all the diagnosis, all the conditions and episodes, and when I got back it was hard to read that same old vaccines cause autism stories. I wish they did, it would be comforting to be able to cling onto such ready-made explanation, inapplicable in my kids’ concrete cases but who cares about truth when there is something palpable to blame it on other than yourself.

    • Outi

      My big brother has the Down’s syndrome with autistic tendencies, my son has ADHD and my daughter is dyslexic. I wouldn’t give them up for the world. Of course they can be difficult, but they are human like all of us. That’s why it really bugs me to read bullshit like that.

  • And what does this whole approach to parenting, what message does it send to little girls, to women about who they are and what they are worth? Does it not reduce mothers to be ONLY mothers rather than complete complicated people in their own right. The elevation of some of these things to a policy level IS maddening…and its not just breastfeeding, but childbirth – and it begs the question, are maternity patients not entitled to the same autonomy as any other patient? The same right – to be informed of the recommended treatment option, its risks and benfits as well as the alternatives and their risks and benefits? Further, it undermines the trust between care providrs and their patients.

  • Mac Sherbert

    “Fortunately, most children are resilient.” Whenever I think I do something stupid as a parent my Aunt always reminds me of this! As long as children are loved and cared for they will for the most part turn out ok.

  • Therese

    So I am in the middle of a discussion with an antivaxxer and he is claiming that the studies done showing no link between autism and vaccines are flawed because most of the autistic children included are medium to high functioning autistic, so therefore, if it was the case that vaccines only caused low functioning autism and had nothing to do with medium or high functioning, these studies would be underpowered to show the correlation. I kind of think he is just making this up off the top of his head but I am not familiar enough with the studies to refute. Anyone know for sure?

    • LibrarianSarah

      Well you can start with the fact that “functioning” labels are pretty much bullshit. :/

      • Therese

        Why is that?

      • wookie130

        As a teacher of students with severe and profound disabilities (the majority being labelled as low-functioning on the spectrum),

        I do disagree with this. The children I work with usually are dually diagnosed with severe intellectual and cognitive disabilities, and their performance and functional skills do generally reflect the discrepancies that exist between their skills and those of their non-disabled peers.

        • Mac Sherbert

          Yes. When they are that low it’s obvious. As you mention they aren’t just labeled low-functioning autistic they are also labeled as having severe intellectual and cognitive disabilities.

          I do wonder sometimes what exactly they mean when they say high-functioning. Do you know of any definitive guidelines that are used to label a child high functioning? I’m genuinely curious.

          • LibrarianSarah

            There are no medical or psychological guidelines that separate “low functioning” autistics from “high functioning” autistics. The closest thing is that in special education separate degree’s are given to those who specialize in “severe disabilities” and “moderate disabilities.”

          • Mac Sherbert

            Unless you live n my state. Then you get a “collaborative” degree that covers everything! No. That’s not quiet right either. Actually, one of my favorite professors has managed to start a Master’s level program for Autism, but it’s only offered at one University. You can also get a master’s in Visual Impairments (hearing impairments may be a separate master’s level cert too). However, aside from that your initial degree and even mater’s covers both high and low incidence students.

          • wookie130

            In all honesty, I do not. As a teacher, I don’t do a lot diagnostically with students. My special education class usually consists of kids in grade 3-5, and most of mine truly are “low-functioning” enough that their disabilities were identified very, very early in life. If there are any definitive guidelines used to determine actual functioning level of individuals on the spectrum, they are determined in a medical or therapeutic setting, not in a school setting… Do I think that sometimes a lot of the students I get have been underestimated in their abilities? Absolutely. I’ve had kids who “should have never been able to” do x, y, and z, only to find out that no one ever tried x, y, and z with the student in the first place, and then we’ve all been pleasantly surprised with the results after instruction. Even the “low functioning” population are very, very diverse in their abilities and skills!

          • Mac Sherbert

            You sound like a wonderful teacher. I taught in a special needs school and my bff taught for many years in a classroom just like yours. It takes a lot more than people realize to teach those students. I call her the multiple disabilities whisper. I totally understand what you mean when you say they never should have been able to do x,yz…yet you find they can. I think the diverse range of abilities even in populations labeled low functioning is what LibriarianSarah was getting at. A label really doesn’t tell you what a child can do. (I have never heard of any guidelines and I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me! Thanks!)

    • Nick Sanders

      There have been many studies that just looked at vaccinated versus unvaccinated children in otherwise similar populations, and found no differences in rates of autism of any kind.

    • just me

      Ok I don’t have the cites but there are recent studies showing differences in the brains of autistic babies and non, B4 vax. Plus loads of studies showing genetic links…

      • Therese

        Does that study specifically categorize by severity of autism? Basically, his argument seems to be autistic person who is “quirky” and “sees the world a little differently”, that is genetic. Autistic person who “can’t speak, wears diapers and sits in the corner rocking back and forth and refusing to make eye contact” that is a vaccine injury. And since people like that would make up a small minority of autistic people, he argues studies that look at autism in general aren’t going to find a connection to vaccines. (Please forgive me if the way I phrased anything is offensive, they’re his examples of autistic people, not mine.)

        • Who?

          Fidgy widgy behaviour right there from the researcher.

          • Therese

            Yeah, see why I thought he was just making this up off the top of his head? Oh well, guess I will actually have to put forth the time and effort to read through studies if I want to actually refute this.

          • Who?

            Yes it all just sounds a little ‘heads I win, talis you lose’, doesn’t it. Maybe don’t spend too much time reading it I doubt it’s terribly edifying or likely to advance knowledge in the area.

          • Therese

            That’s true. I don’t really expect to change his mind, but I don’t like his BS going unrefuted, possibly influencing other parents, either. ๐Ÿ™

          • Who?

            Good on you for that.

          • Francesca Violi

            It’ really hard to prove definitely that something does NOT exist to a person
            convinced that it does… Ask your friend if HE can cite studies which DO prove there is some vaccine-autism link. I would be surprised: this link was never proved in the first place. The whole vaccine-autism narrative stems from Wakefield’s fraud study in 1998 (irresponsibly repeated and amplified by unquestioning media), debunked by journalist Brian Deer.
            http://briandeer.com/wakefield-deer.htm
            Wakefield’s research was a total fraud: he actually manipulated data (and he was funded by a lawyer firm waiting to sue the government on behalf of autistic children’s families, and ready himself to produce the separate vaccines to sell in place of the autsim-causing trivalent etc.). Lancet magazine retreated it; Wakefield himself faced legal problems, was forbidden to practice medicine… Further research never found a causal link between vaccines and autism. If your friend still is convinced there is a link, well, tell him that it’s not worth worrying about it, we are all going to die in a few days anyway, as the invisible-mega-teapot from outer space will hit planet hearth. (Of course there is one! Challenge him to prove there’s not! :-D)

      • Cobalt

        I read something last year that discusses upcoming technology that may be able to detect autism related brain patterns in the womb. I can’t remember enough of the details to get a good Google search.

      • Cobalt
  • just me

    I often wonder how these attachment kids are going to turn out…and also how anyone can sleep with a squirmy toddler.

    • Roadstergal

      Oh, the second question is easy. They don’t. At least, the one I know doesn’t. AP gives her the type of sleep schedule that would probably violate the Geneva Convention…

    • Dr Kitty

      My bed is for sleep and sex.
      Neither of which is happening if I have to share it with a small child.
      “Family beds” past very early infancy do not appeal to me.

      • Bugsy

        I’ve honestly wondered how sex is even possible in a family bed. We let our 2-yr-old sleep with us on vacation, and between non-stop kicks to the ribs and a toddler body thrown across each of us at regular intervals, sex is about the last thing on our minds…

      • Medwife

        We are still bed-sharing with our 3 year old. I’m done with it, I must say. We do sleep fine but I’m tired of having sex everywhere except my bedroom.

    • GiddyUpGo123

      We have had my five year old in bed with us the past couple of days, because he has the flu and I have an irrational fear that he might take a turn for the worse overnight so he needs to be someplace where I can easily check on him. I can’t tell you how many times last night I got kicked in the head, or laid on, or was woken up to the horrible feeling of someone rolling over on and pulling my hair. It’s very snuggly when he’s actually sleeping, but when he’s restless it’s a nightmare. That is not something I can imagine doing every single night.

      • Mishimoo

        I’m like that too, but I think it’s a pretty valid concern. I sleep in the loungeroom with whichever kid is sick because mine always vomit while feverish regardless of what they have, and I’m worried that they might aspirate it. (They’ve vomited while on their backs, fast asleep, so I adjust their position onto their sides every time I wake up to check on them.) It’s more comfortable than having them in our bed and easier to clean up.

        • Who?

          We had one like that, he’d wake up vomiting which was distressing for him on top of feeling rotten and a devil to clean up as his automatic reaction was to run to the bathroom.

          There is nothing like trying to deal with distressed ill child, mess, and chasing the dog who is trying to get in on the cleaning up act.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh goodness, that would be awful!! Mine do the run sometimes, luckily our dogs are only interested in ‘milk’ vomits (reflux possetting) so there’s a bit less hassle.

          • Who?

            It’s just so gross…

          • GiddyUpGo123

            Four out of the six of us have had flu this week, me included. My kids are mostly over it but mine is dragging on and on. Two days ago when I still had the worst symptoms–fever, chllls, aches and pains–my son vomited all over the sofa just as my husband was headed out the door with the only two (at that time) healthy children. I told him to go on because I didn’t want the kids to be late to school and then instantly regretted it because there is really nothing like cleaning up someone else’s vomit when you really shouldn’t have ever got out of bed. It’s been a bad, bad week.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh no! Hope you’re feeling better soon, that’s terrible.

          • Who?

            Sorry to hear that, hope you’re feeling better very soon. It is just horrible being sick yourself when kids are sick.

          • Amazed

            I hope you’re all better now! I haven’t had the flu in 20 years or so but the people I know are generally quite unhappy with the experience.

      • FEDUP MD

        It’s not irrational. We have a history of febrile seizures in the family (myself included) and the last time the baby had a fever, she started having rare myoclonus jerks. She is now sleeping in our bed whenever she has the sniffles until she is 6.

    • Smoochagator

      Every time I have one of my children sleep with me, due to illness or travel or what have you, I remember why I don’t regularly co-sleep. When they’re little, I’m afraid of hurting them. When they’re bigger, they hurt me. I prefer to co-sleep with cats and dogs.

  • Whatever happened to simple variation in behavoir? Nowadays, every child with ants in his pants has ADHD, or who doesn’t like reading is dyslexic, or likes to talk to himself has got some syndrome or other, and these need to be “treated”. It often seems as if everything is pathologic.

    Parents are made to feel that unless they conform to every possible aspect of the “correct” parenting recipe, their children won’t grow up to be individuals but monsters.

    • Wren

      True, but parents are also generally unsatisfied with the child who conforms. They want the special snowflake who is better than all the rest.

      • Cobalt

        Where everyone’s above average?

        • Who?

          Or as we say around here-‘Oh, he/she is very advanced’. It has to be said with particular intonation and appropriate levels of eyerolling to convey the meaning in full.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            They do all day that and then tell stories of children very typical for their age.

          • Mac Sherbert

            I have found that when your child truly is advanced you don’t have tell people. It becomes very apparent very fast. It’s like when hanging out with mommies that like to brag about developmental milestones. I say nothing, but they eventually ask “When did your kid walk?” At eight months…I walk away the winner. lol.

          • Who?

            I used to find the silences difficult. They couldn’t bring themselves to praise another child, and had to shut up about theirs.

            It’s great seeing kids doing new stuff regardless of where they fall in the milestones, which are just averages anyway, there are outliers at either end.

          • Mac Sherbert

            No. I mean I didn’t say anything about my child. Like oh Johnny is just not walking mine has been walking for months. I was polite and happy for their child, but it often turns into my kid can do this xyz as in pure bragging. I’m not into that.

          • Who?

            That’s the only way really. The kids, if they are there, will do their own thing anyway, and it isn’t a competition.

          • Nick Sanders

            I had a neighbor who was riding an adult bike at two. Without training wheels or anything. They made the local news.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Exactly!! Extraordinary gets noticed.

        • Bugsy

          Isn’t that Lake Wobegon?

          • Cobalt

            I think it is. I know I heard somewhere.

        • demodocus’ spouse

          Amusingly, when we found out my kiddo’s 50% on growth and height, I said he was smack in the average, and his ped hemmed about it. Because average is bad? lol

      • Outi

        I would have been perfectly happy with a conforming, average child. Instead I got one with ADHD, one dyslexic and one, who at the age of 5 months still seems fine. It would have been less struggle when the teaching could have been left to the teachers and doing homework wouldn’t ensue a full out tantrum every other night. They are definitely not better than their classmates, quite the opposite. The dyslexic had to stay behind a class, because she didn’t learn to read well enough despite all our efforts at home. The ADHD kid is at the risk as well, because when my third was born, I didn’t have enough time to go through his homework properly (takes about 3 hours every night) and he is falling behind. I hope we can catch up during the summer.

    • Dr Kitty

      I’m pretty sure that my relative is on the spectrum.
      He has perfect pitch, speaks 8 languages fluently and squares numbers ending in 5 whenever he gets stressed. He dismantled every single clock in his parents’ house before he was five to see how it worked, finds it near impossible to have a conversation with anyone over the age of 10 apart from his wife, has only ever owned green cars and has never held any job more than two years because of his inability to get on with work colleagues.

      He is wonderful with small children, taught me to play backgammon and chess when I was six, gave me deer jawbones and geodes as presents, taught me a lot about geology and games of chance, and probably would have had a happier life if he had been diagnosed and supported when he was younger.

      Now he has found happiness in his retirement in deer stalking with his dog.
      He likes to do maths problems or play games of chess in his head while he hunts.

      • Cobalt

        I do math problems in my head to pass time while driving. My husband prefers the radio, which interferes with my arithmeditation. We take turns on long trips.

        • Dr Kitty

          Good system.
          My husband and I have a “driver’s choice” policy about the radio.
          He likes music, I like Radio 4 (which is like NPR).
          He likes to talk while driving, I don’t.

          • Amy

            Also, squaring numbers ending with five is really easy. Take the number of “tens” (works whether you’re talking about a double digit with a single digit number of tens, or a three-plus digit with a double-or-more-digit number of tens), and multiply by the next highest number. Then stick “25” at the end. For example, 65^2: 6 * 7 = 42, so 65^2 = 4225. (The proof of why it works is also really easy, I do with my my algebra II kids, but doesn’t lend itself well to a comment thread!) ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Dr Kitty

            Yep, he taught me the trick when I was stressed on my wedding day.
            He likes to square really big numbers, because he knows beforehand what the answer should be, so he finds it comforting, I think.
            I’m horrible at maths, so I didn’t really understand his explanation of the appeal.

          • Who?

            That’s so sweet to share something that would help him in that situation.

            Can I say I’ve just finished The Rosie Project, about a professor, somewhere on the spectrum, who wants to find a wife and goes about it in a very aspie way. Everyone I know found it hilarious, I found it poignant and quite sad-he tries so hard, and misses so often. Perhaps I was reading too much into it.

          • Dr Kitty

            He’s very sweet and caring, but his ways of being sweet and caring are definitely slightly different from the norm.

            We don’t talk about current affairs, religion, medicine or politics with him, because he has strong views and isn’t really open to other points of view, it all devolves very quickly.

            Talk about maths, music, dinosaurs, dogs, guns, computers, poker, chess or Goethe and everyone is happy.

            He used to have a gorilla costume (you know, full size, mask and all) and when we would visit when I was I child we would all wait for the point when he’d leave the room, and come back in the suit, not having said a word, leaving after a few minutes, and returning as if nothing had happened.
            We loved it, but not nearly as much as he did!

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Also, squaring numbers ending with five is really easy.”
            Yes. Easy, beautiful and relaxing.

          • GiddyUpGo123

            My husband once nearly killed us swerving to make an off-ramp heโ€™d nearly missed because the sun was in his eyes. If I hadnโ€™t shrieked in terror he would have driven us right into a concrete barrier that he also couldnโ€™t see. Now, I drive on road trips. He sleeps in the passenger seat. Which is really annoying after 10 hours behind the wheel, when Iโ€™d really like to sleep myself. I keep telling him that weโ€™ll get where weโ€™re going faster if he stays awake and talks to me, because without conversation I get tired and have to pull over, constantly. Taking pictures of him passed out in the passenger seat (after pulling over of course) and posting them on Facebook does not seem to deter him.

      • Therese

        I have found doing math problems in my head an excellent way to keep from crying. It’s pretty much impossible to cry and do math at the same time.

        • Who?

          That is not my experience of maths. Or of attempting to do maths, to be entirely specific. Perhaps if I could do them I wouldn’t feel like crying.

          • Therese

            Lol, true, math can be frustrating! I’m just talking about things like addition and multiplication. If my brain is busy solving simple math problems, it can’t also be focusing on whatever is making me want to cry at the same time.

          • Amy M

            Attempting to do math makes me want to cry sometimes.

  • Amy

    With regards to the “usually white” aspect. Absolutely. Consider the demographic profile of ANY geographical area of concentrated crunchiness. A few that spring immediately to mind are Oregon, Vermont, Manhattan, the Metro West area in Massachusetts. Not exactly hotbeds of diversity.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Seattle is pretty crunchy. Pretty diverse but the crunchier areas are definitely upper middle class and white. Woodinville (where the wineries are), Redmond (Microsoft), Bellevue (included Clyde Hill, Medina, Yarrow Bay) and Kirkland are still diverse but the home birthing, non vaxxing types are usually white. This is the area Puget Sound Birth Center is in, they know their market.

  • Anonymous

    This is not just natural parenting, but IMO most American parenting these days. People are freaked out about the future. Young parents today are economically struggling more than their own parents did, and they are worried that if their child isn’t the best at everything, they will struggle even more. I think this attitude is born out of the economic difficulties and struggling middle class of recent years.

    • Busbus

      I have read this explanation several times, but as someone who used to be Ib the natural parenting woo for a while, it doesn’t quite ring true. If anything,I feel it’s more anxiety over the rest of your life that you are trying to battle with this idea that there is ONE area where you can do everything right: you can “produce” the perfect child, if you just follow X rules.
      I totally agree with Dr. Amy’s post,btw – I think she hit the nail on the head.

    • Jennifer2

      I’m sure that factors in to some extent, but I think it’s really the next phase of the never-ending but ever-changing quest to keep up with (or surpass) the Joneses. Parents have bragged about their children for generations. So who doesn’t want to think they’ve found the one weird trick to instantly perfect children? The goalposts have moved over time based on what is in fashion, but the end goal has always been the same – to fit in, to prove you are good enough, to be better than someone else.

  • rosanna

    Anti vax parents think that autistic children are better off dead? Seriously?

    • Amy M

      Well, they never say it directly, but the ones who insist on believing that vaccines cause autism, are SO afraid of autism that they won’t vaccinate (or do anything else they think will cause autism) their kids. Some of the VPDs are potentially deadly, so they are risking death, to avoid autism, though of course we know that they are totally wrong.

      I imagine they think all autistic children are like Rainman or worse in terms of being functional, because its pretty insulting. I think if there was a known way to prevent autism, that was safe, people would do it, because, yes, sometimes autism can be pretty severe. But since there isn’t at present, if your kid has it, your best bet is to get early intervention, not stick your head in the sand and go la-la-la. I don’t really know anything about it, maybe someone else here can chime in: is it true that the majority of people diagnosed on the AS are functional and live independently?

      • demodocus’ spouse

        I have no stats, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of near ordinary end of the spectrum adults who are not diagnosed but getting by pretty well.

        • Wren

          Given the increasing range of the diagnosis, I find it highly likely. I actually know 3 of the boys I went to jr high with have, in adulthood, been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. All 3 are doing well career-wise, and two are seemingly happily married with children.

          • Who?

            I went to school in the seventies with a lot of boys who spent a lot of every school day on the verandah for being naughty in class. Looking back I’m sure some at least of them are on the spectrum. Shame they missed out on an education because noone understood it at the time.

      • Rosanna

        You are correct. You are imagining. Find one parent of an autistic child who wishes they were dead. What a disgusting accusation, which is too bad, because I actually agreed with a lot of this article, except that ridiculousness.

        • Nick Sanders

          Even if vaccines did cause autism (they don’t) the options are:
          1. Vaccinate and risk autism.
          2. Don’t vaccinate and risk preventable death.
          By choosing the second option, they are showing by their actions they feel death is less of a threat than autism.

          • Rosanna

            A side effect of vaccine is also death. Let’s not forget the science!! And no, assuming that they they think death is better than autism, is an assumption.

          • Nick Sanders
          • Therese

            What are the chances of a baby/toddler (because come on, if you’re still not vaccinating once they get to be 3 or 4 you’re obviously worried about more than just autism) dying of a vaccine preventable disease in the U.S.?

          • Nick Sanders

            Pretty good if enough people opt out. Look at all the outbreaks of previously eliminated diseases occurring in clusters of unvaccinated lately.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Because people like ME vaccinate our kids, it is, fortunately, not as high as it would be.

            So, Therese, instead of blowing bullshit, perhaps you should thank me.

            Assholes like you, who rely on me sacrificing our kids (hey, vaccination is risky, right?) to keep you safe are the lowest scum of society.

          • Therese

            Hey, my kids are fully vaccinated. This is just a thought experiment. IF vaccines cause autism, is it more rational to put off the vaccines for a few years and rely on herd immunity or vaccinate to prevent the minuscule chance of a VPD and be likely to end up with an autistic child. Frankly, I’m thankful there is no evidence linking vaccines and autism because if there were, got to be honest, I would find that dilemma to be very troubling. At least until herd immunity was damaged enough to make the decision a no-brainer.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The same applies.

            The people you are talking about are relying on ME to put my kids at risk to protect their little angels. Assholes.

          • Therese

            Evolutionary speaking, while there are big advantages to cooperating as a community, the number one priority would still be making sure that your own offspring survive and reproduce. So I have to wonder if the argument that they should put their own kids at risk for the good of the herd will ever be convincing to anti-vaxxers since it seems like is basically goes against millions of years of what evolution has adapted us towards? Not sure what the solution is.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            But no one is actually putting their children at risk to protect anyone else’s children. The primary person who benefits from vaccination is the vaccinated child.

          • Amy

            I’m sure you are aware that autism is a spectrum, right? And that MANY people on the spectrum have very happy, successful lives, marry, and reproduce? There are adults in my family on the spectrum who now have grandchildren– neurotypical grandchildren at that.

            How bout we make the focus around autism helping those who have it reach their potential, rather than trying to “prevent” it with erroneous information from long-discredited studies?

          • Isilzha

            Yeah, we call those people “free loaders”.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Bah, speak for yourself. I call them asshole scum.

          • Isilzha

            Actually, it’s a term used in evolutionary theory.

          • Nick Sanders
          • Isilzha

            If everyone’s doing that then vaccination rate drops below herd immunity. In some areas it is already below herd immunity rates for some diseases.

          • Rosanna

            Bofa, is there any way you can conduct yourself as an adult without swearing and personally attacking people for expressing their thoughts? You obviously didn’t run your post by Sarah the Librarian first, did you?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            When it comes to assholes, I have no respect for their “thoughts.”

            When folks say things worth respect, I treat them that way.

            There’s a common line here, that respect is earned. I disagree. Disrespect is what is earned. And when you say things that don’t deserve respect, I will treat them that way.

            As I said, assholes who count on me to vaccinate my child so they can choose not to are the lowest form of scum in society.

            Oh, by they way since those are MY thoughts, why do you have a problem with them? I’m just expressing my thoughts, just like you and Therese.

            Typical dipshit, whining about what others say, while playing the “I am just expressing my thoughts” card. Well kiss my ass.

          • Kq

            Maybe if you stopped being such a bitch?

            Just sayin.

          • Are you nuts

            Right now? Pretty damn slim. Because most people still vaccinate.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            It depends. With measles 1 in 1000. If they get a tetanus infected cut 30% with the best medical treatment available. Even if you survive it, dissability is highly likely.

            Depends on the disease. It is difficult to estimate because tetanus for example is not transmitted between people but you can get it from a cut.

          • rosanna

            I would imagine this mother would have preferred an autistic child over a dead one. It isn’t just autism that parents are concerned about. My daughter and I are both vaccinated and I am not anti vax. I can’t ignore the fact, however, that other parents haven’t been so lucky. Why can’t the creators of vaccine come up with a safer solution? I think anti vax rates would go down if death was not a possible reaction.
            http://vaccineskilledmychild.blogspot.ca/2015/02/i-am-anti-vaxer_12.html?m=1

          • Nick Sanders

            At what point will “safer” become “safe enough to do” for said people?

          • Rosanna

            When death stops being a side effect, perhaps? No one wants their child to die, no matter what the odds are.

          • Are you nuts

            When death stops being a side effect of measles, polio, meningitis, pertussis, etc, then I’ll stop vaccinating. In the meantime, I’ll keep on.

          • Rosanna

            I agree with you as well. This is where the problem is. If someone doesn’t vaccinate, then their child is in danger, as well as other children who may be too young or sick to vaccinate. On the other end, if is possible that your child can be injured or die as a result of a vaccine, that’s also terrible. There are many parents that are being labelled “anti vax” when all they want is safer vax. I’m no scientist, but there has to be a way to replace some harmful ingredients and make it safer so that some parents aren’t so afraid to vax. If there has indeed been money paid out in the US for vaccine damages, then those payouts can also decrease.

          • Nick Sanders

            Except that “safer” is a cop out, since they are already extremely safe. This has been a noted tactic of anti-vaxxers for some time, and was refuted long ago.

          • Rosanna

            Maybe you need to speak to some folks who have lost their children to vaccination.

          • Nick Sanders

            In the entire country, I could probably count the number from the last ten years on my hands.

          • Wren

            How do these compare to the number of people killed by lightning strikes?
            Must we all stay indoors at all times now in fear of an unexpected storm?
            When option A causes deaths orders of magnitude above option B, choosing option A simply because option B carries an extremely small risk is not a logical choice. In case that wasn’t clear enough, option A is not vaccinating.

          • Nick Sanders

            I’m glad you brought that up, I was looking for a chance to use this graphic:

            http://www.vaccines.com/_img/body/1-0/vaccine-allergy-odds.jpg

          • Wren

            Perfect!

          • rosanna

            Of people who have died from measles? Me too.

          • Nick Sanders

            Guess why.

          • Isilzha

            “More than one third of all measles deaths worldwide (around 56 000 in 2011) are among children in India.”

            http://www.who.int/features/2013/india_measles/en/

            Why don’t you go talk to the families of the 56,000 who died of measles in 2011?

          • Nick Sanders

            Death is still a side effect of aspirin. At about the same rate as vaccines, yet I doubt many of these people are afraid of it.

          • Cobalt

            Nope. Aspirin is more dangerous.

          • Rosanna

            Is Aspirin also more dangerous than the diseases we are vaccinating against? I am not being a smart ass – legit question here.

          • Cobalt

            Measles death rate with modern medical intervention is 1-2 per thousand. Aspirin severe reactions measured in tens of thousands.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The risk of death in vaccination is FAR less than the risk of dying from the measles or even the chicken pox. In fact, the risk is not anywhere close.

            The main thing that is preventing deaths from the measles is that few people are catching it. When no one is vaccinated, and everyone is catching the measles, lots and lots are dying.

            So do you want to go back to that? Or are you the typical asshole who expects folks like me to vaccinate so to keep the risk to your child low?

          • rosanna

            Excuse me? If you could READ, you would see that myself and my child are both vaccinated, so, no, I am not the asshole here. You seem to be a good enough one all on your own.

          • Wren

            I am certain you said a few days ago that you vaccinated your child until 2. Is your child fully vaccinated?

          • Rosanna

            She’s almost due for the last round.

          • Wren

            Will she get the last round?

          • Rosanna

            Yes, she will, Wren. Would you like a scanned copy as proof? ๐Ÿ™‚ All I am trying to do here is get inside the mind of a person who has lost a child or had something devastating happen as a result of a vaccine. We can’t ignore the fact that, not matter how small the chances, they are still there. If I had a child die from a vaccine and then had more children, would I vaccinate them, knowing what happened to my other child? I am not sure – would you? I just wish that instead of all the hatred I keep seeing on both sides…that we could come together somehow in support of our children and their health. It’s more than their ego here – it is legitimate concern for their children. They are scared of their children getting sick in the same way that pro vaxxers are scared of their children getting sick. Yes, there is scientific data….but that is not comforting to the people with dead kids. I am trying my very best to have compassion and see how people are feeling here, but when someone gets attacked, it doesn’t make them want to listen. And when a Harvard educated Doctor claims that all anti vaxxers think autistic kids are better off dead, she loses credibility and respect as well.

          • Wren

            Fear after any tragic event is normal, but is not a reason to promote a higher risk choice for other children.
            You seem to think there is some kind of happy medium, but I don’t know what that could be.

          • Rosanna

            I don’t know – which is why I am trying to spark a united conversation here, but, unfortunately, no one side wants to speak to the other without freaking out. Could it be beneficial if vaccines are further spread out somehow? I don’t know – Measles still does exist, but are there some diseases we get vaxxed for that are not really required? I don’t know – I just wish for the betterment of all the children who cannot get vaxxed, or are too young to get vaxxed, or have severe allergic reaction to vaccinations – that crossing their fingers and relying on herd immunity isn’t all there is.

          • Nick Sanders

            “Could it be beneficial if vaccines are further spread out somehow?”
            No.
            http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/challenging-vaccine-delayers-398406723692

          • just me

            See the 2009 Pediatrics (peer reviewed science journal) article on this–sorry, on phone, don’t have cite–Google it and it’ll easily pop up–NO evidence spacing out cax is beneficial.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            No one wants to speak to the other side, because there is no other “side,” just a bunch of people who don’t know the first thing about immunology who wanted to boost their own self-esteem by defying authority and pretending that empowered them.

            There’s no other side to evolution, the helio-centric solar system or the existence of gravity, either.

            Why is it so hard to accept that anti-vax parents are 100% wrong?

          • Rosanna

            Why is it so hard to stick to the truth and stop placing an extremist opinion in your article? I know many parents of autistic children, who have other children, and still vaccinated them all, never wishing death on anyone. That was a terrible statement to make.

          • Rosanna

            Actually, since you are here monitoring, if vaccines aren’t harmful, then why are damages paid out in the US for parents who’s children have suffered after a vaccine?

          • Nick Sanders

            Well for one, those are civil suits, which have a very low standard of evidence.

          • just me

            Someone explained that the other day, probably in response to one of your posts. The U.S. govt was worried pharma would stop making vaccines due to so many idiots suing them. So there’s a program to pay out for the few cases where some causation can be shown.

          • Medwife

            Are you familiar with Diclegis? It’s vitamin b6 and doxylamine succinate. It was named Bendectin and was prescribed for morning sickness in the 80’s until the company lost a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs said it was causing birth defects. There was no evidence it was a teratogen, but the jury was convinced that it was, and the company took a major financial hit. B6 and doxylamine succinate! It continued to be sold in Canada but disappeared entirely from the US for decades. Now it’s back and FDA approved as a Cat B morning sickness med, based on its decades of safe use and studies confirming its safe use in pregnancy.

            Diclegis is a mild anti nausea med. it didn’t kill any Americans not to have access to it. If the MMR was sued like that and taken off the market, it would be disastrous. That’s why the Vaccine Injury Court exists and I’m glad for it.

          • SporkParade

            Actually, hospitalizations for morning sickness-related dehydration increased after Diclegis was removed from the market. So maybe it didn’t kill anybody, but lack of access to it may have caused some miscarriages.

          • Medwife

            Miscarriage as a result of hyperemesis is highly, highly, highly unlikely. But it sounds like it raised health care costs, not to mention the misery aspect.

          • S

            I think it’s Category A in the U.S.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            You don’t know about the diseases. You don’t know about adjuvants. You don’t know about preservatives. You don’t know about how a cell line is cultured. You don’t know why the timeline of the schedule is the way it is.

            Frankly, you don’t seem to know a damn thing about vaccines. And that’s fine. But since you don’t know anything, you’re honestly better off taking advice from those who DO know about this thing and trusting their information. You sit here (figuratively) and question, question, question, and you are trying to “spark a conversation…” and really, no one wants to talk to you here. You are not adding anything to the conversation.

          • Rosanna

            That really hurts my feelings. Well, I will go hang out with all the parents who wish their kids were dead rather than being autistic – because that is a fact, right?

          • momofone

            I think you just hit it on the head. This is not about feelings. It’s about evidence. There is no way to remove all the risk from anything. Get into your car; you’re taking a risk. Walk down the street; you’re taking a risk. Stay at home to avoid risks; you’re taking a different risk–who knows what could come crashing through the roof? But the odds are that something tragic WON’T happen.

          • Rosanna

            You are right – I don’t know about vaccines enough. So why then, before my child was vaccinated, wasn’t I told what the possible risks could be? My doctor advised me not to give eggs to my daughter until after 1year old, in case of an allergy, yet there are egg ingredients in vaccine?

          • Nick Sanders

            Albumin is not in all vaccines, and the amount in vaccines that do have it is far less than the amount in a single egg. Dosage matters.

            Also, I’m betting the doctor had EpiPens on hand in his office and knew how to use them on an infant, but can you say the same about you and your house?

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            You’re telling me you didn’t get the VIS sheet when you vaccinated your child?

            yeah, right.

          • momofone

            Did you ask what they could be?

          • KarenJJ

            Do you mean the real risks or the made up ones from the internet?

            My doctor warned me about a possible site reaction, rash, fever, nasty poo and crankiness and suggested panadol if my child was uncomfortable. She also asked me to wait in the waiting room afterwards for 15 minutes in case of allergic reactions (although for one kid I negotiated a wait in the playground opposite because he was desperate to get outside and run around).

            No mention whatsoever of autism, losing the soul from their eyes, head spinning, cancer, auto-immunity, diabetes etc etc.

          • Wren

            Crossing their fingers and relying on herd immunity is all there is at the moment, and antivaxers, whose ideas you have been parroting here for days, are destroying that herd immunity.

          • Rosanna

            I am just asking questions – why can’t we have conversations without attacking each other?

          • Nick Sanders

            Please, not the “just asking questions defense” too. Do you have like a checklist of these or something?

          • Rosanna

            No checklist, just working on a new spiffy graphic like yours, though!

          • Cobalt

            Because you already have the answers. Continuing to ask is willful ignorance.

            Have you heard of Cobalt’s Mirror?

          • Cobalt

            She didn’t say that “all anti vaxxers think autistic kids are better off dead”. She said that anti-vaxx parents would rather risk death than autism for their own children.

            Vaccine safety information is so prevalent that ignorance of vaccine safety can only be willful ignorance. It is an insistence on being uneducated, and is inexcusable, and anti-vaxxers should be held accountable for the results.

          • wookie130

            You cannot prove that this mother lost her child to a vaccine any more than The Man On the Moon. Please provide evidence that

            And you know damned well what Dr. Amy meant by the autism/anti-vaxx/death comment. It’s really simple logic. You seem to be the only one who doesn’t get the logic behind her statement, and because you’re refusing to see it, that’s entirely on YOU.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” It’s more than their ego here – it is legitimate concern for their children. They are scared of their children getting sick in the same way that pro vaxxers are scared of their children getting sick.”

            Sure it’s the same. Just like how people who live under the threat of racism are motivated by the exact same concerns as those who complain about “reverse racism.” And just like how the women’s rights movement is motivated by the same concerns as the Men’s Rights movement. And how hate crimes directed at synagogues or mosques are no different than “the war on Christmas”. Exact same motivators, totally legitimate concerns, nothing to do with ego. Sure.

          • Wren

            No, it’s not a legitimate concern. If it were a legitimate concern, they would look at the respective rates of illness and complications and go for the vaccine.

          • momofone

            I don’t know; you’re making a pretty good show of it.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Do you give your child Tylenol or take it yourself? Do you know that if you accidentally take to much (which is actually pretty easy to do) you could go into liver failure and die? You are far more likely to die that way then from a vaccine. So would you take your chances with a 105 degree fever before you take a Tylenol because death is a “side effect.”

            When it comes to medicine, death is far more likely to be a side effect of doing nothing than of treatment.

          • Rosanna

            She hasn’t required Tylenol in about 3 years. If she needed it, I would give her some, and the chances of me “accidentally” overdosing her would be about 0%

          • LibrarianSarah

            And the chances of her getting a deadly reaction from a vaccine would be about 0%

          • Rosanna

            I get to say what I like and put quotes where I like. You don’t get to tell me how I need to speak.

          • LibrarianSarah

            And I get to tell you that you are not being rational. I also get to tell you that when you are old enough to have kids you should have grown out of the whole “you’re not the boss of me” attitude.

          • Rosanna

            You are right. I am so sorry. Next time I have a comment to make, I will run it by you first, so that you can review and edit if needed. I am so grateful I found you!

          • LibrarianSarah

            I would prefer if you just come to see how it is irrational to refuse vaccines because they are not 100% safe when nothing in medicine or life is 100% safe and the “I am not anti-vaccine I just want safer vaccines” argument is bullshit.

            Also maybe see that by putting those quote marks around the word “accidentally” in your comment you insinuate that the only way a parent could lose a child to Tylenol toxicity is if they tried to kill that kid with Tylenol. So in your own words, “What a great show of compassion you have!” towards parents who lost their children to Tylenol toxicity.

          • Rosanna

            That’s your opinion that it’s BS. Do we need aluminum, MSG, Antibiotics, Eggs (very common allergen), Thimerisol, etc – to ward off these diseases? If someone put these in a cocktail, would you drink it? ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Wren

            You can look up the reason each of these is included, if you are actually interested.
            I wouldn’t drink that in a cocktail, but only because it likely wouldn’t taste good.

          • Nick Sanders

            Aluminum preserves the shots so they don’t spoil. It’s also non-toxic.

            MSG is non-toxic.

            I’m unaware of antibiotics in vaccines, but if it’s there, I would assume it’s so bacteria don’t start growing in them during transportation and storage, which would be a horribly bad thing.

            Albumin serves as a stabilizer and extends shelf life.

            Thimerosal is harmless.

          • Rosanna

            Antibiotics are listed on the CDC website under common ingredients in vaccines. I just wonder if there is a way to determine if a child has a sensitivity or allergy to any of these before injection? That could also save a lot of aggravation?

          • Nick Sanders

            There is, and it’s done if there’s any reason to suspect there might be.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Again look up the Nirvana Fallacy. Oh you know what I’ll do the work for you since I am feeling generous.

            http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/135-nirvana-fallacy

            For someone who is “not anti-vax” you sure do parrot a lot of anti-vax tropes.

          • Rosanna

            Maybe it’s possible for someone to actually see that – wait for it – there could be more than one side to a story! Did I vax? Absolutely? Am I shocked to see that other parents who vaxxed didn’t have the same safe experience I had? Yes

          • LibrarianSarah

            Now we are onto the golden mean fallacy. Just because they are multiple sides to an argument doesn’t mean that each side is equally correct. Sometimes people are just wrong and to figure out who is wrong and who is right you need to look at the scientific consensus. Not anecdotes, not scary sounding chemistry words and not logical fallacies. There is overwhelming scientific consensus that vaccines are safe. The are not “perfect” but nothing is and they are safer than anything else we’ve got.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Also can you explain why parents who lose their child to a vaccine reaction deserve compassion but parents who lose their children to Tylenol toxicity don’t? I am trying to understand you “logic” here. See I can be petty too.

          • Rosanna

            Any parent who loses a child to anything deserves compassion. I never said otherwise. I think it’s time to go back to the Library now.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Then why put the quote marks around the word accidentally? What were you trying to imply there?

          • Nick Sanders

            Compassion is fine, completely overturning the established medical practice is not.

          • Dr Kitty

            Sure, why not?
            If they were in the same amounts as in a vaccine.
            The average vaccine is about 1ml though, so I’d want the cocktail to be topped up with fruit juice, and maybe a little umbrella and a cherry or two.

            The dose makes the poison.

          • Cobalt

            Have you considered why those ingredients are included? Do you have any idea if or how removing those ingredients could actually make vaccines less safe?

          • Amy

            Some of those ingredients may well be in some cocktails already.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I would drink the vaccines happily. The 0.5 ml in the vial.

          • yugaya

            “I get to put in my child’s body what I like and say whatever I want about it. You don’t get to tell me how dangerous I need to know it really is.”

            Thanks for proving the key point of this blog article by providing a nice example of a parent who “views children as vessels for parental action”.

          • Amy

            Dude, death is a side effect of drinking water.

          • Rosanna

            You are so hilarious!! We need a vaccine for dirt water!

          • Cobalt

            Clean, pure water, as part of a diet lacking sufficient electrolytes, is lethal. It’s called water intoxication, and it’s fatal without timely intervention.

            A small child is more likely to be very sick or die from water overdose than vaccines.

          • Amy

            What are you talking about? Overdosing on water can kill. There was a famous example of this a few years ago where a radio station ran a contest called “Hold your wee for a Wii,” where a woman died of water intoxication after winning. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/01/15/too-high-a-price-for-a-wii/?_r=0

            Apparently this is a problem some people face when taking the drug ecstasy as well, they get paranoid over getting dehydrated and end up dying of water intoxication: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11265566

          • Nick Sanders

            And it only takes accidental aspiration of a couple milliliters to asphyxiate.

          • Rosanna

            You are right. It is much more likely that someone will call into a radio station and die from drinking water again than the chances that someone can get injured or die from a vaccine – silly me. Why did I ever doubt you?

          • Wren

            It is more likely that someone will die of water intoxication than of a vaccine, actually.

          • Melissa

            There were two fairly high profile water intoxication deaths in 2014, both involving high school athletes. There were probably more that didn’t get the coverage because they involved adults.

          • Amy

            So….you didn’t read both links, and you inferred incorrectly that my giving one example is a statement of relative risk. It’s not. It’s not when you do it, even though you clearly think it is, and it’s not when anyone else does it.

            See, anecdotes aren’t statistics. Nothing can be inferred from them. One example IS sufficient to DISprove a claim, but certainly not to prove a general claim. My claim was merely that overdosing on water can cause death– clearly, it can, and a single example is enough to prove that claim, although the second link is to a study showing more of a trend.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Yep. A real thing.

          • Nick Sanders

            Where did she say “dirt”?

          • Wren

            And also of not drinking enough water.
            Death is a side effect of life, one we will all eventually experience.

          • Isilzha

            Parents put their kids in cars and there’s a much higher risk of them dying with that activity than getting vaccinated. Death is a side-effect of being alive. There’s a risk of death with many activities that parents engage their children in–sleeping in a bed (and falling out of it), drowning in a bath/shower, drowning in a swimming pool, playing sports can lead to death.

            Go back and look at Tosca’s numbers. S/he’s explained it quite clearly. You would rather have 230,000 grieving families than 23! Also, Tosca didn’t include those that live but are deaf, infertile, or have some other effect from the disease. It clearly seems you want tragedy on a grand scale.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Yes, the problem is the odds. If you get a measles vaccination you are risking death in less than 1 in a million cases. If you get measles and that is highly likely without the vaccine, you are risking 1 in 1000 deaths. I will take the vaccine.

            If you get a tetanus vaccine well, there are no docummented deaths with that one. But there are docummented deaths after tetanus… Yes, I will take the swelling painful arm over death.

            I would take the 1 in 10000 chances of death of apendicectomy in case of apendicitis instead the 98% death without surgery…

          • Amy

            You think a website that starts with “vaccineskilledmychild” is going to be a rigorous scientific study of how vaccines can kill?

          • Rosanna

            I didn’t claim it to be a scientific study. It is the experience of a woman who’s child is dead. What a great show of compassion you have!

          • Nick Sanders

            Anecdotes, while tragic, are not data.

          • rosanna

            Is the view that all anti vax people think autistic children are better of dead? Because that is not what is insinuated, but stated as fact.

          • Nick Sanders

            It’s the view of anyone who refuses to vaccinate for fear of autism.

          • Amy

            I am obviously very sorry that her daughter died. The website, though, is just a long rant. Of course she’s upset at her daughter’s death– who wouldn’t be???– and one common part of the grieving process is trying to pinpoint a cause. She doesn’t provide any proof that “vaccines killed” her child, though. The studies that she links to don’t even say what she claims they do, which she then uses as “proof” that vaccines killed her daughter.

            The Ontario study, for example, shows a very slightly elevated increase in the number of adverse events– not deaths, not even hospital admissions. The VAERS in the US isn’t about an actual link between vaccines and adverse events, only the timing of adverse events. If I got a shot and then got hit by a car, or bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile, those are technically adverse events following a vaccine, and could be reported.

          • yugaya

            “It is the experience of a woman who’s child is dead.”

            It is not proof that vaccines kill.
            It is not proof that vaccines killed her daughter.
            It is proof that anitivaxx apologists like yourself have no morals and will use anything to alibi out their denialism and selfishness, even this grieving mother who is clinging to delusions without any shred of proof that two diffent vaccines caused injury to two of her children.

            Don’t confuse lack of support for sharing such dangerous, deadly antivaxx propaganda for lack of empathy.

          • Tosca

            Unfortunately no medical procedure or drug can be guaranteed 100% safe. By definition, medications change the way the body operates; this does, and always will, create a risk of unwanted side effects.

            The trick is to assess the relative risk. How great is the risk of taking the treatment, as opposed to the risk of not taking it? If the equation does not show a clear benefit to taking the treatment, with a much lower risk than not taking it, the treatment will not be approved for use.

            Again, the measles vaccine. The population of Australia is currently 23 million (in round numbers).

            If we were to get the measles vaccine today, around 23 Australians would die from the direct effect of the vaccination. This would, of course, be a tragedy for the families of those 23 people.

            If every Australian were to get the measles today, the death toll would be around 230,000.

          • Who?

            Life is always fatal. Taking sensible precautions to preserve life and health is, well, sensible. Seeing big numbers like that is really useful-in which population is your chance of life and health better? Clearly the vaxxed one.

          • Cobalt

            Do parents who have lost children in car accidents stop using cars? Is it rational for them to do so? Who suffers if they stop driving?

            Vaccines, which are heavily researched, regulated, and tested, are administered by trained professionals prepared to cope with the incredibly rare dangerous reaction. Kind of like car seats for infants installed by professionals. No 100% guarantees, but safer than the alternatives (measles, pertussis, not using a car seat).

          • yugaya

            – no adverse reaction ever filed or documented

            – was released from hospital with second child under SIDS protocol

            – blames another “injury” and autism of her 4th child
            on vaccine, albeit a different one.

            http://drbenkim.com/blog/2006/03/more-from-christine-colebeck-on.html

          • Stacy48918

            “Why can’t the creators of vaccine come up with a safer solution?”
            They HAVE! Vaccines today are much safer than 10, 20, 50 years ago. But until they’re “perfect” it will never be good enough.

          • Tosca

            Of course death is a possible side effect of vaccination. However, the risk of death from a vaccine is literally orders of magnitude smaller than the risk of death from the disease.

            For example, the risk of death from the measles vaccine is about 1 in 1,000,000. The risk of death from having measles is around 1 in 1000. This *is* the science.

          • Stacy48918

            “A side effect of vaccine is also death.”
            A side effect of just about everything we do in medicine is death.

        • Are you nuts

          I think most parents of autistic children would not say they would prefer their child is dead. But by refusing to vaccinate, they’re in effect saying, it’s ok if SOME children end up dead because of the vaccine preventable diseases that I’m choosing not to prevent.

        • Wren

          There are cases of parents killing their autistic children, because the children were autistic. I will leave you to google those, as frankly they leave me feeling so awful.

          • Rosanna

            I don’t doubt that there are, which is totally tragic. I can’t even imagine that. However, that doesn’t mean we need to lump everyone in one category – that’s the issue I have with her statement.

          • Wren

            When one chooses to expose one’s child to a higher risk of death in preference to a risk of autism that cannot be found in countless studies, yes, that indicates a preference for a dead child over an autistic one. It’s doubtful most of those parents ever actually think it through that way, but they are definitely choosing the outcome of possible death over possible autism.

          • Wren

            You did ask that we find one parent of an autistic child who wishes the child was dead. I do so (or point out they exist and are easy to find), and you immediately dismiss that as tragic but waive it away, saying it’s not everyone.

          • Rosanna

            You are correct, Wren – I didn’t mean to dismiss it. I guess in my heart I didn’t want to believe it could be possible, however there are unfortunately parents who can’t handle being parents and take it to the extreme, however, they don’t represent them all. Thank you for pointing it out. I do, however, think it is incorrect to state that all anti vaxxers think death is a better option. And the funny thing is (or sad thing) is that I don’t see anyone else agreeing at how insulting, incorrect and inaccurate that statement is. If an anti vaxxer came on here and stated that all pro vaxxers only care about their kids and don’t care if your kid dies from a vaccine injury, they would be bullied right out of here!

          • Wren

            Anti-vaxers who fear autism from vaccines are choosing a significantly higher risk of death, for their own child and others, over a believed risk of autism. There is no way around that.
            The example you gave is, well, ridiculous. If I vaccinate my child (and I do) then I am taking on the same risk of a vaccine injury as any other parent.

          • Who?

            Some of the treatments dreamt up for autistic children are surely dangerous if not potentially life threatening. I’m thinking in particular of the bleach enemas favoured by certain ‘practitioners’ in this area. Then there’s chelation for all those heavy metals, expensively tested for by quacks collecting spit by the spoonful. Who can then sell at great expense the chelation itself.

            Probably dangerous, certainly unpleasant and entirely unhelpful and non-therapeutic.

          • Nick Sanders

            And then there’s the chemical castration or electrical shocks. And not electroconvulsive therapy as responsibly used for a limited number of other problems, such as severe depression, but just straight up zapping them with electrodes on their skin.

        • Amy

          It’s not parents of autistic children. It’s parents who refuse to vaccinate because they don’t want to risk autism. They’re trading the risk of autism (assuming vaccines even caused autism, which they don’t) for the risk of death from a vaccine-preventable disease. They’re in effect saying they’d rather their unvaccinated child die of a VPD than develop autism.

          • Francesca Violi

            The people I know who refuse to vaccinate (or would like to) don’t weight the risk of developing autism toward the risk of
            death, but towards the risk of a mild rash and fever. Their information (the information they trust) are completely messed up: we know measles can cause serious outcomes or even death, just as we know vaccines don’t cause autism, but in their world (sites, journals, people they know, providers and celebrities they trust), it’s the other way around. I think they just mean to do the best for their children: they are actually persuaded that measles are not likely to happen, and/or that in case their child will get it, it’s not a big deal, after all “when we were kids everybody had measles and we are still here”. So in their mindframe it makes sense: why should you risk to poison a child to the point of causing autism, only to protect him from an unlikely and harmless disease?

        • Amy M

          I personally do not believe that parents of autistic children wish their children dead. It’s the idea that autism scares them more than potentially deadly diseases. That by avoiding vaccines, their child or other people, could end up dead and this scenario is preferable since they believe they are avoiding an autistic child. They don’t seem to be thinking long term.

        • Nick Sanders
        • Dr Kitty

          Rosanna, autistic children grow up to be autistic adults.
          Why should the mother of an autistic four year old have more say in determining policy and public opinion than a 40year old who actually has autism?

          Why are people like LibrarianSarah continually being told, either explicitly or implicitly, that their autism is unacceptable? Why is it always assumed that they can’t be trusted to act in their own best interests?
          Despite the fact that there are many intelligent, articulate, passionate people with autism, their voices are being drowned out by parents who just want their son or daughter to be like everyone else.

          Rather than accepting ASD individuals as unique people with different ways of processing information to neurotypical people, the focus is always on “fixing” or “curing” or “managing” ASD.
          Essentially on making autistic people more like neurotypical people, without any emphasis on seeing positivity or value in an ASD perspective on the world.

          I can understand that for people who have autism, this could be incredibly insulting and very, very frustrating to have to deal with.

          • Rosanna

            I agree with you on that 100% – My own child has issues that fall within the autism spectrum. I don’t cry that she acts “differently” sometimes – I cry when she cries that she is different, because it breaks my heart that she feels she isn’t the same – I tell her how amazing she is each and every day, and I can’t wait to see the amazing person she will grown up to be. I love her more than life and I don’t blame anyone for what is going on with her, including myself or her doctor. We all need to be accepted for who we are.

          • yugaya

            “My own child has issues that fall within the autism spectrum.”

            As in clinical diagnosis confirmed after full diagnostic assessment? Otherwise you’re just a hypocrite for even mentioning it like that.

          • Medwife

            I stumble over those words myself. My son has qualified for services through the school district for “characteristics consistent with autism” but there has not been a medical diagnosis. I’m not sure exactly what to say.

          • yugaya

            That’s an honest account of your kid’s situation, my comment is directed at all those natural parents who self-diagnose their kids’ allergies, medical conditions and learning issues or ASD. At some point you or the school will follow up on that initial broad catchment assessment that was made by someone qualified to make it. You didn’t just read about it on the internet and came up with it, like this mother:
            http://www.smh.com.au/national/court-grants-father-right-to-vaccinate-his-children-20140405-365p8.html

          • Dr Kitty

            Out of interest, Rosanna, why do you say “my child has issues that fall within the autism spectrum” rather than “my child is autistic” or “my child has ASD” or “my child is on the autistic spectrum”?

            To be honest, you say that you feel we all need to be accepted for who we are, but your word choices, framing ASD as “issues” or something (presumably negative) “going on with her” rather than literally how your daughter’s brain is wired and an integral part of who she is, doesn’t actually read that way. Particularly as you imply that ASD is something it might be appropriate to “blame” on someone, but that you, personally, don’t.

          • yugaya

            “the focus is always on “fixing” or “curing” or “managing” ASD.”

            That underlying total disrespect of a child as an individual human being, and the extent of the superiority that these parents exercise over their children in the name of “fixing” ASD is worthy of a diagnosis name of its own.

            Munchausen by ASD kid.

          • deafgimp

            People do this to Deaf/deaf kids all the time, even going so far as to prevent them from learning ASL.

        • I can name three. London McCabe’s mother. Jude Mirra’s mother. Both of whom killed their sons. Issy Stapleton’s mother who tried and, thankfully, failed to kill her daughter. They aren’t alone.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I was reading a criticism of AutismSpeaks last week by a person with autism. The statement that stood out for me was something like, “AutismSpeaks is not about helping people with autism, it is about helping the parents of kids of autism deal with the awful burden of having to deal with their kids.”

        That really struck a chord with me.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Unfortunately disability is one of the few (if not the only) issues in which members outside of a community get to make most of the policy decisions for and frame public opinion about members of that community. Does Barrack Obama’s mother get to speak for the black community? Does Elton John’s mother get to speak for the gay community? Then why the fuck is it okay for the Jenny Mc’Carthy’s or the Susanne Wrights of the world to speak for the autistic community?

          • Rosanna

            I guess it is their freedom of speech. I have seen her interviews in which Jenny actually states she is also not anti vax. She is asking for a better vaccine schedule and safer vaccination ingredients.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Reread my comment and try to actually understand it this time.

          • Rosanna

            And you can reread mine. She speaks on behalf of her son, and mothers of autistic children who don’t share the platform she does. I don’t recall the time she said she wished her son was dead, which is what my comment was about in the first place. That is a disgusting accusation to make, and for a doctor who keeps asking for the science of every fact, she keeps making statements based on her own extremist opinion.

          • LibrarianSarah

            My point had nothing to do with her stance on vaccines but the fact that she and other parents of autistic children are the ones who frame policy and public opinion on autism not autistic people. The world is shown autism through the viewpoint of someone outside of the community. That would not slide with any other group of people.

            Also you should also look up “the Nirvana fallacy.”

            Nothing about us without us.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Vaccines are extremely safe and have the ingredients they need to work properly. Vaccines are constantly being made safer with the least amount of ingredients possible. She sounds less foolish just saying she is antivaccine

          • Mishimoo

            Especially when child abuse and death are written off as “Oh, they just couldn’t cope with their ND child. It’s perfectly understandable that they murdered or attempted to murder their kid.” That is not okay and that will never be okay. (Sorry, I have a lot of feelings about that.)

          • demodocus’ spouse

            I had a similar discussion with a professor. She’d given us an assignment where we had to advocate for something to better the world. I picked disability, and at the Q&A she tried to get me to start the campaign myself. Professor did not understand that with disabilities (which really should get a separate advocate for each group) they need an advocate of their own group to prove they can be as eloquent and useful as everybody else. DH is blind but does not need me to speak for him. (Sometimes we do anyway, but that’s a long-married couple thing) Or as one blind woman on the bus once said (thinking I was acting like McCarthy) “Blind people can talk, you know!”

        • just me

          But they do need help…

          • Nick Sanders

            Not really:

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Autism_Speaks

            Edit: ugh, scratch that, I didn’t see the word “need” in your post. Sorry, mea culpa.

          • Cobalt

            Parents who have children that are different do need help. Especially if the child has a disorder that is particularly exhausting, visible, or stigmatized. Remember, not all autistic kids “look autistic”. The 10 year old having the total meltdown on the train might be freaking out because of developmental issues, not because “those parents suck…they can’t even control their kid”.

          • Nick Sanders

            I completely agree, hence my edit. I misread just me’s post as “But they do help”, and thought they were defending Autism speaks. Like I said, I made a mistake.

          • Wren

            I think many parents do, as do many parents of neurotypical kids too. I don’t think AutismSpeaks does a good job of providing that help.

          • just me

            I sssumed they were good…maybe I’m wrong…and as a parent of neurotypicals I can’t fairly say I need nearly the same level as help as a parent of an autistic child.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Autism Speaks does not provide any substantial help for autistic people and their families. They spend most of their funds on preventing treating or curing autism. They occasionally throw an ipad to a nonverbal child so they can videotape how that child’s parents feel about it but the overall goal of the organization is to make sure autistic people don’t exist.

            Also having an NT kid isn’t a guarantee that raising that kid will be easy. Most of the kids in Juvenile Hall are not autistic (though I also realize that there is a race/class issue there as well). Most kids in drug treatment programs are not autistic. NT doesn’t mean no behavioral problems.

          • FormerPhysicist

            My three are pretty neurotypical. And I’ve been through a whole box of oreos just this afternoon to help me cope. I have to admit I think many parents do need help.
            I love my kids, I just don’t find parenting easy.

          • just me

            I get it we have rough times too. But really those cant be comparable to raising an autistic child, at least those on difficult end of the spectrum. To say otherwise is insulting to those parents who have it so much harder than us.

          • FormerPhysicist

            Internet doesn’t come out right – especially when one is wry. Yes, parents need help. I’m sure most parents of autistic children need more help than most parents of neurotypical children. Autismspeaks doesn’t seem very effective at getting parents that help.

          • Laura Thomas

            Some of my children have special needs. Whatever helps them adapt and cope and gain success in their weak areas helps me the most. So, any organization that is aimed at helping my child function better will always be the most help to me. With autistic children, getting tools, techniques and practical help with speech, learning and social needs in particular would be enormously helpful, not because my child is “an awful burden to deal with.” There’s something about that statement that really bugs me.

    • Kq

      Oh goodie, she’s back. Flounce FAIL yet again.

      • Rosanna

        I know you missed me! Actually, I was checking in to see if my friend made her donation to families who need financial assistance for vaccination – seeing as it’s Friday and she said she would be donating once she got paid. Sadly, she’s nowhere to be found today!

        • yugaya

          You are repulsive to the core.

          • Rosanna

            I am repulsive? I am not the one who said I would be making a donation and asked all the members of the thread to join in and to donate in my name since I am such a quack. Funny how passionate everyone is – until it’s time to make a donation. THAT is repulsive. As well as showing no compassion whatsoever to anyone who has lost a child to vaccination. It happens, whether you want to believe it or not. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to meditate, then take some supplements, then go grocery shopping for organic food:) Have a great weekend!

          • yugaya

            For the record: these are the words Rosanna will throw in direct response to cancer survivors without feeling the need to apologise for them: http://www.skepticalob.com/2015/02/what-the-measles-debacle-teaches-us-about-the-rest-of-alternative-health.html#comment-1844411917

            Yes, someone who has not managed to type out an apology for those words and then comes back “just to check” how much integrity other people have behind their words spoken on this forum is to me a repulsive, despicable creature.

            No amount of kale will ever make a decent person out of you if you are incapable of apologising here, in front of everyone, for that comment.

          • KarenJJ

            I’ve missed something. What donation did someone promise?

          • momofone

            “Funny how passionate everyone is – until it’s time to make a donation.”

            So are you now saying that your goal all along was to ensure donations for vaccinations for children in impoverished countries? You are the queen of attempted diversion, but you fool no one except yourself.

    • Cobalt

      No, they would rather their special snowflake risked death than risked autism.

      Most parents who have an autistic child feel very differently.

  • Allie P

    I have no idea what natural parenting even means. Ain’t I natural?

  • Sullivan ThePoop

    Speaking of natural parenting philosophy foibles I have seen an increasing amount of parents changing their mind about fluoride lately. I read two different kind of funny but kind of sad rants just this week about the horrible dental problems a fluoride free existence can cause. This one mother said, “I am not saying fluoride is the best thing in the world for you, but it has to be better for you than all the anesthesia, x-rays, and dental work my poor six year old has already experienced.” Apparently he had 12 previous cavities including 2 crowns and caps.

    • Nick Sanders

      Holy crap, that’s a lot of cavities.

    • Nick Sanders

      No seriously, are they sandblasting his teeth with sugar or what?

      • My son learned very early to demand candy from his grandmother, who came from Iraq where it was [sometimes literally] beaten into her at an early age that ANY wish of the men in her family MUST be gratified immediately, and she felt she was powerless to refuse even a toddler’s demands, if he was a male. By the age of three his teeth were in terrible shape and he had to have major dental repairs to his baby teeth. [My daughters, however, had excellent teeth as they, being girls, weren’t entitled to candy on demand]

      • Who?

        Some people have grooves and fissures in their teeth that trap particles and make their teeth prone to cavities.

        I have two kids, raised in the same house on the same diet: one has no fillings, gets checked six monthly and his entire significant interaction with the dentist was an emergency wisdom tooth removal. The other has had the same regular checkups, many small and one very large filling, and fissure seals on all her other teeth. I blame the woo-infested dentist we spent a couple of years with who said they shouldn’t have fluoride, and myself for not waking up to him sooner.

        Wisdom tooth boy is looking down the barrel of number 2/4 coming out. He dragged himself to the doc last night, given the pain in his tooth and temperature he was running, who gave him antibiotics, but he’s determined to go to work today and see the dentist on Monday.

        Sometimes I miss being able to just march them off to do the necessary.

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          My daughter had to have her wisdom teeth taken out when she was 14 because they were blocking her last molars from comming in. The oral surgeon showed them to me. They didn’t even look like teeth yet. My son on the other hand has no wisdom teeth.

      • KarenJJ

        My immune system damaged my kids teeth in utero and they both have patchy enamel (according to the paediatric dentist I took the kids to when we first noticed a problem). Apparently teeth cells are quite delicate. Not something I knew in the past.

    • just me

      Oh geez. CDC listed fluoridating water as one of the top 10 health successes of the 20th century. Cue the quacks…

  • SarahSD

    It drives me bananas when parents try to take full credit for their childrens’ personalities and temperaments. People who claim that their child is confident, friendly, or empathetic because of their parenting style: can’t your wonderful child get any credit for being great, all by themself? On the upside, I have made this point to many “crunchy” parents in my circle and they see my point. The flip side is that any problems, sensitivities, or undesirable traits their child develops often get blamed on some “mistake” they made as parents, especially early on – epidural birth, vaccination, diet, and so on.

    No doubt parenting’s effects exist and are complex and multifaceted, but it is unfair to all parties involved to equate parenting with environment (even if you privilege “nurture”, it is larger and more complicated than what can be called “parenting”). And the kid, while changing and developing, is a person. There is not one right way to create the conditions for that dynamic entity that is your child to become themselves.

    • Paloma

      My dad says exactly that. When I graduated from med school everyone kept congratulating him and he always answered back that he didn’t graduate, I did, all by myself. Children have their own personalities, and as much impact as the parents have, the child determines who he/she will become, no matter what the parents want for them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Are you nuts

      You’re so right. A friend of mine begged me not to vaccinate my baby when I was pregnant. Her 2 year old isn’t talking yet, and she’s just sure it’s because she vaccinated him. It breaks my heart that she thinks she caused it.

      • SarahSD

        Right. If on one side of the coin you have a kind of narcissistic pride, on the other side there can be an unhealthy, paralyzing guilt.

      • I think some of this is due to the insistence nowadays on meeting development milestones. Parents are frightened when their child seems to be “slow”, when of course there is a very wide range in how fast babies and small children conquer new skills. The mother of a 7 month old who doesn’t yet turn over can become very stressed if she reads somewhere that a baby “should” turn over at 6 months, for example.

        My son didn’t talk until he was two, and he’s rarely stopped since. Perhaps he was vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

    • Amy M

      I think its a kind of hubris to assume that the parents, (usually just the mom in these cases) is solely responsible for how a child is or the adult the child becomes. Children aren’t raised in bubbles–even if they are homeschooled, they still interact with the outside world on some level (perhaps not the same as children who go to school outside the home).

    • anon

      I joke with people that is that anything wonderful and great about my kids is because of my awesome parenting and anything not so great is just genetic – from my husband’s side.

    • Mel

      As a teacher at the HS level, I always figured that my students were free agents in their life – ie: if the kid was failing, it was because the kid didn’t want to pass the class / do work / preferred playing games / skipped class.

      Can parents affect kids? Sure – but in the same way that money affects happiness. Having an abusive, neglectful parent will cause large problems for the kid. Having an average parent will give the kid the skills needed to become the adult the kid wants to become. Having a super parent…will give the kid the same skills as an average parent unless the parent is so over-invested that they refuse to let the kid develop along their own path – which is a form of abuse in my book.

    • KarenJJ

      It’s funny – both my husband and I had this type of belief before we had kids and had grand plans of what we’d do/wouldn’t do based on how we wanted the kids to turn out.

      Our infant daughter sorted that out for us very quickly! Part of learning to be a parent for us was learning to pick our battles and letting go of the sort of linear relationship we had in mind for kid behaviour.

      • Who?

        Seriously, the best you can hope for is to knock off a few rough edges, while remembering to respect them as an individual-who may be very different from either parent-and helping them learn to be the best they can.

        They learn from being around us-actions speak louder than words.

    • Kelly

      When people compliment my oldest daughter, I always tell them that 90% is her personality and the other 10% I will take credit for. I am not sure how much of it I really have control over but she is naturally well mannered.

  • Cobalt

    You have to love and care for your kids how they are, not how you imagined them. The imagined child is a hypothetical, a mere rhetorical exercise. The actual child is as real as you are, and is as deserving of recognition as a valuable individual on their own merits.

    Rigid, blind parenting ideologies would have us raising dolls, instead of people.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Here’s my problem with the “as parents, we are responsible for molding our children into being great people” or whatnot: what makes you think I a) know what that is, or b) know how to do it?

    Jesus, how arrogant would I have to be to claim that I know what the secrets to success are? My goal with the kids is just to not fuck them up too much. And I hope that I can recognize it when it starts happening.

  • atmtx

    Addition is quite perilous. Fortunately we have calculators ๐Ÿ˜‰ (see end of second to last paragraph)

    I jest, but this is great work. Thank you.

    • Young CC Prof

      I know many adults who still live in terror of addition, especially with decimals or fractions involved.

  • demodocus’ spouse

    Every parent tries to give our kids tools we think will help them mature into good people. Of course we do. But circumstances and each child’s nature and choices will play a big role. Some blind people can be good navigators, you don’t want one steering the USS Nimitz, and you don’t want my husband (the ditz) to give you directions to the grocery store. (He once got lost on the way to our bathroom. To be fair, he was ill, but still…)

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Some blind people can be good navigators”
      I know one. This guy lost his sight nearly 40 years ago. Our city has become much bigger in the meantime. But he has somehow kept up with all the new roads and can navigate for you when you drive him places. He says he had excellent navigational and spacial skills and loved driving and maps before he lost his sight suddenly in his 20s.

      • demodocus’ spouse

        DH is in a blind baseball team and a couple of the guys are like that. I *have* asked Jeff and Bert how to get places, and they were very clear. Bert’s totally blind.

  • JJ

    “…to parenting choices that not so coincidentally place extraordinary stress and responsibility on mothers and force women to stay in the home.
    The message that natural parenting sends, particularly to mothers, is, โ€œItโ€™s all up to you.โ€ and if things donโ€™t work out, โ€œItโ€™s all your fault.โ€

    That is what natural parenting felt like to me and the enormous pressure led to me having a breakdown 2 year ago. I would even use those same words when I was freaking out. (That is was all on me and when it all went bad it would be all my fault.)

  • Young CC Prof

    The world is a big and scary place for a parent. In the cold light of reality, up to half of all cancers are caused by sheer bad luck. Other serious diseases can’t be prevented at all.

    Your cherubic toddler will become an adolescent, struggling through the pain of finding his place. She may not find it for many years. He may make terrible choices, even wind up in prison. She may cause pain to others. He may have learning problems, and fail to reach your own height in society.

    Most of all, there are no guarantees. It’s tempting, isn’t it, the promise of perfect children as long as you follow all the rules, the promise that they will always be healthy and meet your expectations.

    But even if it worked, would you really want to limit your child to your own expectations? Surely they can do better.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I think the randomness of life really terrifies some people once they have kids. I once watched a mini-series were the main characters described having a child as “giving a hostage to fortune”. You have this tiny, helpless human that is entirely dependent on you and you feel that everything that happens to them and everything they become(goor or bad) is because of you. The truth is you try to make sure they are physically cared for and protected while still letting them learn about the world(AND learn to be a member of soceity and the world), and that they feel loved and appreciated.
      All you can do after that is try to give them the tools to deal with the world as it is, and maybe (if they want to) try to change the things they can for the better.
      And with all that something bad can happen and you or they could be gone tomorrow. But for now you have to at least try to believe that tomorrow is possible. Finding peace with the fact that there is SO much you CAN’T control is hard, but necessary if you don’t want to drive your kids away or make them too dependent on you (if you are luck enough to have a child who is capable of becoming independent)

  • Michele

    Do these people not know anyone with a family where despite being raised in the same environment, siblings end up wildly different in terms of adult success? It should make it perfectly obvious that there is only so much you can control as a parent. Off the top of my head, I know one family with one son who is a successful professional and the other son is currently in prision for the next 15-20 years. Another family with one daughter an honors student and the other a meth addict and dropout. Plus all the people I know who had less than quality parents who are now successful healthy people.

    • Amy M

      I have identical twins, who are clearly different people, even at age 6. One’s an introvert, the other is an extrovert. One has a better sense of humor, the other is very sensitive and sometimes his emotions get the better of him. They are currently in the same kindergarten class, but in an effort to make sure each boy is getting what he needs, we plan to separate them for 1st grade. One reason is that it will be easier for others to see them as individuals if they are not always together.

      (When I asked why he wanted to be in a separate class, one said he wanted to “learn to think things to [his brother]” so they could teach each other stuff. So if they figure out telepathy, it had nothing to do with me. Especially if they use it to go on a crime spree.)

      • Nick Sanders

        That sounds like the basis for a bitchin’ action movie.

      • My husband is an identical twin, and he and his brother are not only quite different, intellectually and emotionally, they don’t really like each other all that much, which is interesting, as identical twins are supposed to be unusually close, or so I’ve been told.

        • Amy M

          My boys are quite close, but I suppose there are ID twin pairs, that like any other set of siblings, just don’t get along. ๐Ÿ™‚ When I am out and about with my children, we tend to get noticed (this was especially true when they were babies)–and people would always tell me that they were a twin/had twins/knew twins, etc. The ones that were twins, I would ask if they were ID or fraternal, and then ask if they were close. Probably 90+% of the ID twins said they were very close, and about 50% of the fraternal ones did. So that’s my informal survey anecdote.

    • Our middle daughter, who is severely dyslexic, had a difficult childhood and now is in a difficult marriage. About a year ago, I had a “eureka” moment when I realized that everyone in our family kept trying to make excuses for her almost as if she were a handicapped child. “She’s NOT a child” I suddenly realized, “she’s a woman of 30!” Apart from certain difficulties in reading and writing [largely overcome because of special ed], she has fully normal intelligence and can function as an adult, so it is time she did so — and time we stop encouraging her to look to us for support in inappropriate ways. The relationship was unhealthy in both directions.

  • Guest

    My kid has autism. It was not the vaccine. My cousin has measles right now because parents of autistic kids had too much pride and fragile ego to admit genes played the major role. That would mean the parent had a flaw. The product was damaged, so they vilify vaccines. I really hope my cousin doesn’t die over this. Her chicken pox in the 1950s was mistaken as measles, so she never got a vaccine when it was later invented.

    • Young CC Prof

      I hope your cousin is OK.