The CDC officially announced on March 29, 2012 that the new Autism rates are 1 out of every 88 children in this country, if only boys were counted that number would be 1 in 54.
Guess what? Those numbers are from data collected from 4 years ago.....really!
Autism was first reported in 1930, with very low rates, approximately 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed. Starting around 1990, the cases of autism began to increase enormously. In 2003, when my daughter was diagnosed, the rates of autism were 1 in 150, today it is 1 in 88.
This is an epidemic, crisis and health emergency. How many more children and families need to suffer before something is done to stop this?
Was i floored, shocked or surprised by the announcement? Absolutely not! I am the parent of a child with autism and a professional providing services to autism families. I see new children and families every week and my heart just sinks each time.
Every time i see a new child come into my center i have to choke back emotion, it is devastating to me each and every time. One more child and family in crisis...infuriating to say the least!
How appropriate for these numbers to be officially announced just 4 days prior to World Autism day, April 2, (April is autism awareness month). Gee, thanks to those really considerate professionals from the CDC. Oh, and thanks to whomever decided April was the month to bring awareness to this disorder, (insert sarcasm here). Everyday is autism awareness day at our home and in the homes of 1 out of every 88 children!
Designating one month with one special day within, to awareness is a slap in the face to families and children fighting this battle called autism on a day to day and minute to minute basis 365 days a year.
And how about lighting it up blue? Ha, how about we light up the phone lines, Internet and all media outlets incessantly about this crisis until something is done, that is really lighting it up!
It was all over the news the day the numbers were announced, short clips of perky reporters with their game face on, announcing the news. One segment especially caught my attention on CNN, the segment was approximately 90 seconds long and included a discussion with Dr. Gupta. When the discussion turned to possible causes, Dr. Gupta's response was quickly cut short (obvious editing), and they then turned to the high gas prices!
Gas prices? I would gladly pay ten dollars or more per gallon if autism didn't exist! Autism should be the main focus of the media daily until a cause and cure are found. Do the American people not know that the future of our country is in much more jeopardy due to the fact that the majority of the youth in this country is disabled? Who is going to run our country in 10 or 20 years?
I am not suggesting that gas prices, the unemployment rates and status of the economy are not important, they are, but autism increase is just as alarming! However, very little has been reported on this health crisis emergency!
These children are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. Much more on that someday!
What is the cause of this increase? Let me tell you what it is not! It is not due better diagnosing, reporting or tracking.
It is environmental in most cases, sometimes with a genetic susceptibility included. These children are sick, it is not psycological, it is medical and our children can get better! I personally know of thousands of parents, yes parents, that have helped their children improve dramatically by treating the medical issues they are suffering from. Call us nuts, freaks, on the lunatic fringe....we are helping our children, and we have documentation to prove it, label us, we don't care!
Think i don't know what i am talking about, don't believe how difficult it is dealing with autism? I invite you to spend a day at our house....you will get a really honest true education of what autism really is and why you should help us advocate for treatments and for finding a cause.
This thing called Autism is not going away, in fact at the rates it is increasing we could perhaps be at 1 in 10 within the next 15 years. What is it going to take for someone to do something about this?
I have seen data from Korea that their rates are currently 1 in 38, shocking!
These children were not born this way! Something happened to harm them, who is willing to step up and find a cause and cure?
Here is a link to the Autism Society of Illinois with some really great information and resources.
Peace, love and happiness always...
Lisa is the owner of Kaitlin's Hideout, a play center for children with autism and a social, support and resource place for parents. www.kaitlinshideout.com