This has been quite a week for news in autism. For starters, David Kirby reported that there are at least two new cases in Vaccine Court whereby there have been awards for vaccine injury in children with autism. The silence from the MSM was deafening - as expected. After all, they were very busy getting flu shots live on air. Then there was the IOM report on vaccine safety that got some attention although the media has been focused primarily on the gun safety issue - shots of another kind as it were. Oh yes, there has also been hoopla about Miss Montana, a beautiful young woman who was diagnosed with autism at age 11 and is an example of having a wonderful life with a form of autism that frankly I can't imagine in my household - although my three girls are certainly beautiful - especially my 18 year old for whom we just filed guardianship papers.
Oh! And did you hear some kids "outgrow" their autism. Yuppers. In the Catholic Church we call that a miracle. When Jenny McCarthy told the media her son had lost his diagnosis she was called a liar. Turns out that the only way to lose the diagnosis is by doing nothing. Jeez, I'm always the last to know... I could be driving that Camaro I'm constantly talking about on Facebook with the money we'd have saved.
Then there's this sobering study reported in the Simons Foundation Newsletter: People with autism DIE. A LOT.
Of the 305 people diagnosed with autism in Utah in the 1980s, 29 have died. This is about ten times higher than the death rate in the general population during the same time period, according to a study published 25 September in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders1.
If that's not bad enough, the study added, Because women in the general population live longer than men do, the elevated risk of death for women with autism is more than twice that of men with the disorder. This may be because women with autism tend to have more severe symptoms than men do, including more intellectual disability and epilepsy, the researchers say.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.