As most have you have probably heard, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the autism rate among American children in the US is now 1 in 50, and since boys outnumber girls with autism by a ratio of 4 or 5 to 1, somewhere between 3 and 4 percent of all American boys have an autism spectrum diagnosis. Read the complete report by Blumberg et al. here.
Any expressions of concern from anybody with the power to do something about this disaster? No . And the press, as usual is soft pedaling the findings. Fifteen years ago the autism rate was 1 in 10,000, 12 year ago it was I in 2,500, 10 years ago it was 1 in 1000, and so on. When President Obama was elected in 2008 the official rate was 1 in 150, then it went to 1 in 88 and now it is 1 in 50. Where is it going to stop?
And Thomas Insel, the federal “Autism Czar” who heads the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, is still wondering, “If there is a true increase in children affected...” Thomas Insel needs to be fired. He is clearly not up to the job.
In 2008 presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama promised to be the “Autism President.” But what has he done? We are spending far less in research per diagnosed person than we were under George W. Bush. The only generally recognized method of addressing autism, applied behavior analysis, was left out of the essential health benefits package in Obamacare. And as we enter his fifth year in office the CDC still can’t even figure out if the rate is really going up. I am reminded of the song by Stevie Wonder, “If you really want to hear our views, you haven’t done nothing. “
Please send an email to the President, your two United States Senators and your member of the House and ask when are they going to take the autism epidemic seriously and do something. We suggest a start by firing Thomas Insel.
And you might want to call the Whitehouse and ask politely when the President is going to become the “Autism President,” and he should start by firing Insel.