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I got to thinking about reproduction yesterday...any thoughts?

(33 Posts)
lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 22:17:11

DF and I were chatting yesterday about DD1 being taken advantage of by 'friends' already, and I said that I dread her coming to an age where she can be taken advantage of by a boy/man. I said 'I can see me ending up bring up her baby...' He said 'you may need to get her sorted so she doesn't have that risk.'

It's a long time away, yet so soon. She's 7.4 now, just 8.6 years before age of consent. I know lots can change, but her deficits are more pronounced in the social sense. She is utterly naive, everyone's best friend, no stranger danger at all and that hasn't improved one bit with age. In fact, I'd say that part of her is 'broken'. She can learn the 'rules' and repeat them to you, but not apply them. In terms of parenting skills, I think, if she continues as she is, developing as she is, she wouldn't be able to parent.

What's moral/ethical? Should our children (those who will still be significantly impaired in those skills as adults - I know that many of the children on this board will be able to lead independent lives with the right input as children) be able to reproduce? Would it be ethical to insist on contraception?

I think I struggle because DD1 will be able to have an opinion, and may quite like the idea of having a baby, but she won't necessarily have any insight into what that means....

silverfrog Wed 03-Apr-13 22:41:22

oh, god, lougle, I am with you - a year further down the line, as dd1 is 8.9.

I don't know what the answer is.

I don't want to think about it, but I don't really have that option.

dd1 will certainly have an opinion. if her interest in her body is anything to go by, she may well enjoy a healthy physical relationship.

but beyond that? to what extent do dh and I choose for her in terms of contraception etc? I wouldn't know where to start really. it's not as though she would be able to (reliably) tell me if she was feeling any side effects of any hormonal contraception.

at the moment I am confident she would not want a baby - she is terrified of anything which she cannot understand, and is currently anxious about ds starting to move about etc, as she knows she cannot stop him touching her/her stuff (because he will not understand), and at the same time does not understand what he wants. and so a baby of her own would not be desirable, i don't think. which of course is not to say that it won't happen...

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 22:51:12

That's the thing though, isn't it? Wanting a baby or not is irrelevant to whether her body will make a viable host for a baby, and I couldn't go down the abortion route, so it would need to be about prevention rather than intervention...but if it came to it, she may well be cognitively able enough to 'choose' to fall pregnant/have sex whatever, but not cognitively able to cope with said baby.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Apr-13 22:56:08

Scary subject. It shouldn't be 'less' of an issue for boys but it really is isn't it, because it isn't their bodies.

MissDuke Wed 03-Apr-13 22:57:07

I feel exactly the same, and have said so to hubby. My dad was concerned a dx of ASD would prevent her getting a job in the future, I said I was more concerned about her being taken advantage of, and ending up pregnant very young and unable to cope with it, or worse on drugs etc :-/ I don't know how we can shelter them from this, and it is so sad we are having to worry about this when they are still so young (mine is 8.4). She is incredibly naive, also no awareness of stranger danger and is obsessed with dolls and babies :-/ (she has been since she was a baby herself, can't see this changing any time soon).

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:04:28

I agree, Star. Even more so for boys, actually, because there is nothing 'medium-term' you can do to manage the situation, you have to rely on either girls being protected or the boy taking the sensible action each and every time.

It sounds silly, but the thing that made me realise how utterly vulnerable DD1 is, was that she was playing on her own in the garden. Quite happy - she loves being outdoors and it calms her. Next door children (some a bit older) gave her a bowl and asked her to get them water so they could make mud pies.

She of course came in to get water, then got so sad when we said no. We tried to explain to her that if the girls were allowed water, they would get it from their own house, and that they'd asked her because they knew they'd get into trouble if they got it themselves. She was oblivious, and thought we were just being so very mean. They also played hide and seek with her, but hid in their house hmm. It just made me realise that even now, she is so vulnerable.

silverfrog Wed 03-Apr-13 23:09:30

coping with the baby is one thing - what about coping with the pregnancy and birth?! (I know you're not overlooking those, it's my sheer horror behind the outburst)

how would I even begin to explain what was going on, and how different everything would be, and how, quite frankly, bloody weird it feels to have another person inside you.

and my labour with dd1 was bad enough, and I could understand what everyone around me was saying, and could make informed choices. I literally cannot contemplate how awful it would be for dd1.

and let's not even start down the route that she might understand enough of her sex education to grasp that pregnancy=no periods, and actually want to stop her periods for a bit (can't see that dd1 will cope very well with them - she hates needing help in the bathroom as she is very private, and hates being in a mess too - double whammy there).

I am trying to ignore the whole thing, but it is creeping up on me (and not really slowly, either!)

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:11:21

Periods aren't happening here, oh no way <puts fingers in ears>

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:12:03

Coping the baby is one thing, but expecting my child to cope with having a baby he/she couldn't keep would absolutely break my heart.

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:16:16

Oh absolutely, Starlight. I would raise the baby, if necessary, but it's easy to think that when DD1 is 7. When she's an adult, it would be hard to tread the line between helping and being 'Mum' to the baby.

I wonder if there is help for parents as these times approach? <hollow laugh>

MareeyaDolores Wed 03-Apr-13 23:17:05

Outcomes article, a research summary and a proper review. Although ASD / impaired executive function isn't synonymous with LD, there are commonalities.

This is a subject I did a dissertation on nearly 20y ago <old emoticon> but nothing much seems to have changed: consensus is that families are usually ok with good support, but most support isn't good, so many children are taken into care sad

MareeyaDolores Wed 03-Apr-13 23:18:09

Depot and mirena stop your periods too.....

silverfrog Wed 03-Apr-13 23:22:21

thnaks for the links, Mareeya, will have a read.

it's not just help as these times approach, though, lougle, is it? it's help for the rest of our lives.

dd1's school will be ace. they just will. they are at everything. and thankfully, they have a secondary dept already, with a healthy contingent of girls, so are experienced in the whole thing.

but that only lasts 'til dd1 is what, 16? 18 if we're lucky? what about after that? when she is in adult services, with lower supervision rates, and lower hands-on rates (iyswim).

mirena is out for d1 as ectopic pregnancies run in the family (I am the 4th generation to have had one).

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:24:12

Mareeya, they do, but you have to consent. My concern is that DD1 could fall in that no-man's land of cognitively able enough to refuse consent but not able to appreciate the consequences of a lack of contraception.

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:24:22

Those links are scary.

silverfrog Wed 03-Apr-13 23:24:36

raising the baby is not the end of the story, either.

what if dd1 grows up, gets preganat, sails thorugh it all, breeze of a labour (apparently it happens hmm). and I step in to 'help' (read raise the baby).

what's to stop it happening again? and again? how many babies later do i stop 'helping'? or find another way of managing it all?

god it's jsut a flipping nightmare.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:27:08

Yes. How many babies? And how many will have disabilities?

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:28:48

I know, and that's assuming that your DD is independent so you can safely do all that. What if I'm still caring for DD1 at home, because she's fallen through the criteria gaps of adult services, without respite, and then have teeny tinies to raise, as well as trying to support DD2 and DD3 with any children they have as a Grand Parent?

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:28:57

I think it is sensible to be thinking about it now.

I think it is sensible for mothers of boys with disabilities to also think of it now tbh, though the impact might not be so great on them personally, they are still potentially a part of the problem.

(though I know it isn't necessarily boys with disabilities that the girls need protecting from)

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:29:32

Quite, Star! That's assuming they are well and able. What if (as we suspect) DD1's issue is genetic and is passed on?

lougle Wed 03-Apr-13 23:30:52

You're right though, Star, because if DD1 goes to Special Secondary School, they are mixed. That's a whole bag of hormones all together for 30 hours per week.

zumbaleena Wed 03-Apr-13 23:32:15

Jeez! Mine is only 3 and I am wondering!

silverfrog Wed 03-Apr-13 23:33:43

I'm pretty much assuming dd1 wil be at home with us too, lougle.

I fully expect her ot fall between all gaps in adult services - too damned able, yet not able enough.

potentially, this could all be happening while I was trying to support dd2 through A levels and ds through secondary school, let alone trying ot help them out with their future children.

god, why can't they stay children forever <and how grimly ironic is that statement! confused>

zzzzz Wed 03-Apr-13 23:43:09

I think about this too. No insights just yet another area of our future that worries me. Ds is amazingly friendly and trusting.

MareeyaDolores Wed 03-Apr-13 23:44:05

No proof that exposing teenage dc to toddlers might prevent under-18 pregnancy despite some promising other results (but those of us with toddlers and primary age must be doing early intervention wink)

Barnardo's have done a useful literature review

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