Mom? Why Do I Have Autism?

This past weekend we participated in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  It was a spur of the moment decision as Chris has been working crazy hours and we weren’t even sure we would be able to make the trip down.  My sister Jenny, and her family, were able to join us which was really nice.  Skylar was excited to have Becca walking with us.  It was really crowded and the parking was a pretty good distance away from where the walk started so Chris dropped the kids and me off and went to find a parking space.

When we arrived at the front of the park, there was a sign advertising the walk hanging from an arch.  Skylar looked up at it and read it out loud:

“Walk Now for Autism Speaks.”

She then got this quizzical look on her face and asked  “Mom? Why do I have Autism?”

Becca was next to me and she immediately said “Oh wow!”.

I first didn’t know how to react as tears immediately filled my eyes.  Skylar has never even mentioned the word autism until just recently, let alone ever ask why she has it.  I quickly pulled myself together and said the only thing I could think of which was “I don’t know buddy, but that is a good question!”

I felt like an epic failure not knowing how to answer.  But honestly, I don’t know why she has autism!

So my question, for those of you who have a child with autism, is: How do you answer this question?