Along with hysteria around vaccines and other possible "causes" of autism, we need to address the general hysteria around what it means having a child with autism.
Unfortunately, Margaret Wente's column (Autism, Vaccines And Fear - Feb. 4) fuels that hysteria by stating, "Life with an autistic child is unrelentingly hard." As the mother of one autistic child and two "neuro-typical" (non-autistic) children, I can state that life with an autistic child is not unrelentingly hard. My autistic child is no more challenging than my other two children. Frankly, he's often the most easygoing of the three.
Parenting is challenging; it is not for the weak. Expect to be challenged and frustrated and exhausted at times. But also expect happiness and a different awareness of the world. This is true of parenting children who are autistic, and those who aren't.