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Parade Magazine On "Autism's Lost Generation"

Stagliano Family Kim and Mia Managing Editor's Note: I'd like to thank Joanne Chen of Parade Magazine for her thoughful interviews and careful consideration of our family in the Parade Magazine online piece  HERE. Also, our good friend Dan Burns and his son were featured  HERE.  Please go comment. There are many commenters saying "Autistics are not defective!" who clearly can not see that many of our children are severely impaired and while that doesn't have to imply "defective" it certainly means requiring a lifetime of care. Please go add your personal story at Autism's Lost Generation in Parade Magazine.

By Anne Dachel

The Sunday Parade Magazine had the story, Autism Lost Generation--Who will care for Dana? on Mar 3.  (HERE) It focused on the critical need for services for young adults with autism in the U.S.  This need will get worse.  The autism tsumani is coming and sounding the alarm is long overdue. 

Parade says, "These issues are not going away, because the number of autistic adults will only continue to increase: Today, one in 110 children (and one in 70 boys) born in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism, and the numbers have been rising 10% to 17% a year."

We need some explanation for this exponential increase.  It can't be denied that a once-rare disorder is claiming a generation of  our children and no official can tell us why.  Some claim that there's been no real increase in autism, just better diagnosing and an expanded definition of autism.  If there were true, there'd be no crisis.  Young adults with autism would simply go to where these adults have always gone.  Even if they weren't called autistic, they would have required adults services for their special needs.  The truth is, no one has ever found adults with autism at rates even remotely close to what we see in our children. 

Notice they still use the $3.2 million for lifetime care.  That's from Michael's Ganz's Harvard study done in 2006.  I contacted Ganz back then, and he told me the numbers were "conservative."  Others put lifetime care cost at between $5 million and $10 million for each individual.

Until we address the cause of autism and stop the epidemic, the situation will only grow more desperate.

Recently, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee created by Congress to deal with autism presented their 2011 Strategic Plan: HERE  in which they call autism "a national health emergency."

The IACC is asking: "Why has there been such an increase in prevalence? What can be done to reverse this alarming trend? How can we improve the outcomes of people already affected, including youth and adults?"

The IACC is still looking for answers.  So why aren't officials expressing alarm over autism with press conferences and news interviews?  Dr. Thomas Insel head of the IACC has talked about the fact that 80 percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18 and that we need to prepare for a million adults with autism "who may be in need of significant services."  This seems to be the kind of "national health emergency" that no one wants to bring to the attention of the public.   

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism



neal cohen

Our daughter just turned 40 last July, my wife and I are 67. Her age group is the real lost generation, when you think about available services then and now.

Although she has been involved with a sheltered workshop, since she was 21,the real challenge is now, to find a residential situation.

In the early 70's there was no asperger's diagnosis and an Autism diagnosis was not very common. So
many of these now adults were not dignosed or classified Autistic until
years later.

So, the question is what is happening to the children of the 70's and are we going to let the same thing happen to the children of the 90's

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Thankyou David Burd. Ill be printing out the weapon of mass destruction. It reminds me of a recent comment here, a few days back about how some vaccine had been shown to be safe.
"Safe" ? what is safe? What about the polio vaccine that I got as a child in Seattle that is now admittedly causing cancers in older people? I bet they thought that was "safe", fifty years ago; but if youre the one with the lymphoma or mesothelioma today, you might think otherwise. The people of my time got so few vaccinations and still we could not get home free. What will happen to the poor little kids of today?Blessed are the poor in vaccines, for they shall inherit the earth.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Those people with autism, who are offended when others shed less-than-favorable-light on the diagnosis, are obviously capable enough to function on some level and may not need a "life time of care." The coming avalanche of adults that will need care are just now emerging out of schools. They are not the college-educated, possibly married, attending Asperger's support groups on a Sunday afternoon.


The rate of 1 in 110 is several years old. Does anyone know where the 10-17% increase comes from and when the government is going to release the current rate? I think folks are really going to freak with the next rate. I may see if our congressman (Walter B. Jones) can find out-he has always been very helpful with things. Is there anyone I could contact at the CDC first? I don't expect them to be particularly helpful but I don't want to bother Jones unless we really need to.

Theodora Trudorn

Long time no see! Sorry for a long absense. I have had a time, preparing for a major conference I will be laving for this coming Sunday.

Reading this now is rather interesting, considering the weekend I have had. We were discussing this very same issue, only not about someone on the otherside of the spectrum, but someone with AS. That someone being my better half, who inspite of having a large IQ and high intelligence, does not know how to care for himself, and this at the age of 29!

I am going to be doing the training, but I don't think people realize how difficult it is, even for us! I had been trained to take are of myself since I was 10 years old, by a mother who was rather constant and through with her methods. I will do the best that I can. What I get upset about is in the shuffle, those of us with AS are entirely forgotten, or treated as though we don't matter.

That is in spite of the fact that we and our parents face the very same issues that those on the other side of the spectrum do! I know MANY aspies. The larger portion of them, in spite of how intelligent and talented they are, are in my guy's situaction. They sit behind closed doors, talents going to waste, while parents wonder what will happen to them when they have gone.

I hope someday people will notice the Lost Generation, then maybe, just maybe, someone will take notice of the Invisable.

Maurine Meleck

The Parade magazine doesn't seem to be taking comments. I've tried twice. Anyway, it's a good article and good comments from Kim and Dan. Thanks to both of you. And thanks to Anne. You are all fighters and we need you.
Where can I get a copy of this magazine?

david burd

PS to my earlier post. Many writers mention numbers of "shots" whereas the number of "doses" to me is more accurate.

For instance, at 6-7 months a U.S. infant on the Immunization Schedule has been INJECTED with 19 to 20 "shots" when the flu shots at 6 months and 7 months are included.

However, this comes to 25 to 26 DOSES as the DTP comprises three vaccines mixed together.

The U.S. Immunization Schedule is the horrifying document I have ever seen, and this is an understatement. I call it the the U.S. Weapon of Self Mass Destruction. Here it is again:

david burd

Anne, The U.S. Immunization Schedule for ages 0 to 6 says it all. Let me repeat this age group: ZERO to SIX.

The horrific medical stupidity and acceptance of injecting a newborn (ZERO years old) with all the toxic components in the Hepatitis B shot, then repeated EIGHT times over at 2 months, on and on, says it all. Please everybody, copy this Chart of Massive Self-Destruction, and pass it on.

Thanks for you fantastic energy Anne.

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