By Jake Crosby
That was what my great-great-grandfather, first-class passenger and Civil War veteran Captain Edward Gifford Crosby (that's his ship in the photo), said to my great-great grandmother Catherine Elizabeth Halstead Crosby 100 years ago on the RMS Titanic after the ship struck an iceberg and began sinking. He rousted her out of bed and had her go into a lifeboat along with his adult daughter, my great-great aunt Harriette Rebecca Crosby. They were both saved by the RMS Carpathia. But because of the women and children first custom, Edward did not get into a lifeboat. He perished along with two-thirds of the ship’s passengers and crew instead.
With the recently reported autism prevalence of 1 in 88, the words of my great-great grandfather take on a new meaning. They don’t just describe what will happen to sleeping passengers on board a sinking ship, but rather what will happen to a sleeping nation as the autism prevalence continues to rise, as more crooked members are appointed to a federal autism committee and as vaccine industry front men continue to give public talks unchallenged. Like the passengers onboard the sinking RMS Titanic, we cannot afford to just lie there.
But this quote has more than a figurative meaning to our community. The mortality rate among people with autism is twice as high as the general population, mostly because of drowning accidents. As with the Titanic, there are real lives at stake and inaction will cost more lives. There is a modern, manmade epidemic of titanic proportions largely caused by our vaccine program, which shields vaccine makers from personal injury litigation. We do not have anything to fear of challenging people like Seth Mnookin or Paul Offit at their speaking events around the country, only what the consequences of not challenging them will bring. As long as we do not, our nation will lie there and drown in its own complacency.
Jake Crosby has Asperger Syndrome and is a contributing editor to Age of Autism. Jake is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is studying for an MPH in epidemiology.
Managing Editor's Note: There is a site called Lives Lost to Autism that memorializes children and adults whose lives have been cut short by their autism - through drowning, parental murder, caregiver assault. Autism kills from the outside in.