Summer Camps!! Autism...
Offit and His Critics: Part 1

Autism, PTSD and Community Support

Woman-can-i-helpNOTE: We accept submissions year round at Age of Autism. In April, we especially welcome new voices to share their autism stories.  Send me your submission to with SUBMISSION in the subject for review.  Write from your heart and gut and readers will respond.  Thanks.

By Candice Edwards

I remember vividly a conversation I had with my friend exactly this time last year. This isn't verbatim, but its pretty darn close.

Me: I don’t know what to do. I just feel like things are falling apart, I feel like I am failing at everything *crying*

Friend: Aww hun, whats wrong?

Me: I just feel like I don’t exist, he won’t look at me, literally its like I’m invisible. He doesn’t want to be touched, anything I try to do with him he shuts me out, literally turns away from me. Sometimes he gets very violent with me and I don’t know how to handle it. I am feeling so lost because that connection we are meant to have isn't there, it was there, but its gone.

Friend: Wow…I’m lost of words, how long has this been going on?

Me: When I think about it, its been gradual since Ollie was born but 4 months was when things really changed, but its getting worse. I just feel like something else is going on, I can feel it in my gut.
Friend: He doesn’t show you any affection? He doesn’t look at you at all? and this has been going on for months?

Me: Yes

Friend: Why didn’t you tell me sooner?

Me: Because I thought I was crazy, that this was just normal and things would get better
Friend: You need to listen to me. We all need to feel loved, acknowledged and important.You can’t stay in a relationship like that hun, you might want to think about leaving him especially before Oliver gets older. No one deserves to be treated like that, whats the point if he acts like you don’t exist? After a while it becomes abuse, you don’t serve that! Do you think its another woman?

Me: I’m not talking about Jay, I’m talking about my son!

My friends face dropped.

This conversation made me think long and hard. This relationship is completely different than all others. This life I grew inside of me was not something I could or would ever walk away from, and for that reason it was that much more intense. When marriages get tough, they can end. You don’t like your job? You can change it…but you have a child that won’t connect with you and your fighting to connect with them….what do you do? You look for help.

As a mother you want to fix everything, but its so hard to fix something you don’t understand, especially when the pediatrician is assuring you that “everything is okay! He will get there in his own time”.

I truly felt abused in my early stages of motherhood because of the lack of support and acknowledgment from my sons Doctor. Any concern was shot down with a patronizing laugh, followed by “he’s fine! its normal first time Mommy worries”. But nothing could prepare me for the agonizing pain I felt in my gut that there truly was something wrong and no one believed me. How could I help my son if no one was helping me?

Then we bring in the V word…..yes, I’m going to say it, vaccines. I never in my wildest dreams would have ever imagined that just the mention of the word ‘vaccines’ would cause everyone around me to shut me down faster than a blink of an eye. I literally felt like I was screaming for help at the top of my lungs, but no one could hear a thing. I felt invisible.

So here I am, feeling beaten, broken, like a failure of a mother and accused of post-partum depression.  I couldn’t walk away, I couldn’t give up and I started searching for answers.

The next chapter provided relief of a diagnoses of autism and validation, but a new abuse arose just from speaking out about my sons story. Apparently you can post about your mothers skin cancer from too much sun or your daughters reaction to peanuts during a lunch playdate, but you can’t post about your child vaccine injury without expecting a tide of hate to come at you.

So here I am with my little boy who is just 29 months old and we have a long road ahead of us. I honestly feel like I have PTSD from everything that has happening and is happening now.

So lets circle back to that conversation with my friend. If the truth be told, my son IS unknowingly, unintentionally, innocently and through no fault of his own, abusing me. I love my son more than any words could ever express and he is the only abusive relationship I will stay in till my dying breath.  I am now stronger than ever, a rock for my child to thrive and I am no longer a doormat letting people walk all over me, all thanks to this amazing community giving my family the love, support, education and listening ear we need, to live this life of autism - I owe you all so much, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Candice Edwards was born and raised in the United Kingdom, eventually making the USA her home in 2005.

In 2001, she graduated with honors from London College of Music and Media, with a B.A in Advertising and Marketing. Candice subsequently worked with several Fortune 500 companies including, Google, AOL/Yahoo and Staples.

Candice resides in Massachusetts with her fiancé Jason and are the proud parents of a 2 year old little boy called Oliver.

Their journey began when Oliver was a few months old after they witnessed their child regress after vaccination. Testing showed heavy metal toxicity, specifically aluminum. Oliver was diagnosed with Autism on Halloween in 2016.

Candice has made it her mission to be educated, and help to educate others in making informed choices when it comes to vaccination.

She owns Very Berry Good, a company that makes elderberry syrups, runs the Facebook Group PURE Parenting, was part of the team who brought VAXXED to Massachusetts and is the Co-Chairman of the Health Choice Massachusetts.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Wonderful article!

Denise Anderstrom Douglass

It makes me very sad to read your post. Especially sad because so much time has gone by and one would think that there would be less of this "blame the young mother" crap still flying around. It's like us older people who suffered the same accusations and shaming and belittling by doctors (mine was in the early '70's because I told the pediatrician that my four year old's symptoms made me think he might have a brain tumor. Yup. And later, I had to see my second son and his wife go through the same belittling and etc. by doctors as their second son regressed dramatically into autism by the age of two.
Don't give up. Don't stand for intimidation by medical people. Stand for your rights and learn as much as you can, because sometimes ditching conventional wisdom will save not just your child, but your own life. Don't give up.


Thank-you for that, Candice. I think you told your story very well, - let's see more of that. And I think "abuse" is a very good way of putting it. So was that little story in the beginning of the piece above, where you were speaking of your child, but it sounded more like your spouse. You need to say what you need to say, and WE need to be strong enough to hear it. My neighbor has a young son who is "on the spectrum" of autism, and yes, it's often difficult. Please, take some encouragement, and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! ~B./


Its the eye rolling that annoys me when you say vaccine and autism in the one sentence to so called professionals the instant blank stare as the brain departs from the conversation as you dared to go to that dark place where nobody goes.
Then your kid hits adult hood and all the recommendations and signed pieces of papers showing food intolerance,and all the special needs have to be re-done because they have turned 18 and as if by magic all his previous statements,are meant to have changed overnight so they all have to be re-done again!.Visual the foot going through the old type TV thats how I feel but then I would have gone through a mountain of TVs everyday if I had done that every time I felt like it.

Pharma for Prison


Nessun Dorma

This is a courageous article. It may be problematic to talk in terms of "abuse". This is not like a relationship with someone who has understanding or responsibility for their actions - and of course they are even more the victims - and yet the unremitting stress of such a situation is in many ways comparable, and has similar long term effects on the mind and body. The incomprehension and indifference of people who might support (but actually keep their distance because they can't cope with it either -even for a short time - and in their case don't have to), not to mention the professionals who themselves struggle and then often blame can greatly add to the trauma. You survive on your nerves relentlessly for years, constantly in fear of things going out of control (often all night too) and the autonomic system gets bashed to a pulp as surely as it might on a battlefield. The emotional cruelty comes from the outside.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)