By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary below the jump.
Mar 26, 2013, The Augusta (GA) Chronicle: Autism can't be ignored
"The meteoric rise in autism is the most pressing social issue of our time....
"It is time for us to open our eyes wide and see that the real threat to our country's financial future lies in the health and well-being of our children....
"This is not an isolated case anymore. This is one in 50 children, and since the number keeps rising, when will it stop? At what number will it become a national priority to find out what is causing autism to try to prevent it? At what number will we have viable treatment options for all those diagnosed with autism?"
It's incredible to read THE ALARM expressed here. Why isn't every news outlet saying these things? (I posted three comments.)
"'Autism is on the rise in New Jersey and interaction between law enforcement and those who are autistic occurs more frequently. The communication skills necessary to meet this challenge was the goal of today's important seminar,' Bramnick, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, said. 'This was a very important event for law enforcement and I was pleased to join with Attorney General Chiesa, Prosecutor Romankow and Mr. Debbaudt.'"
I love how NJ covers autism. They're trying their best to adjust to the epidemic---no questions asked. This is how NJ prepares for the future---train the police. The stories of abuse and neglect in our schools, where teachers are supposed to be able to deal with autism will soon be replaced by many more stories about how the police handle with young adults with autism. Things will only get worse.
"A New York law that was supposed to guarantee insurance coverage for expensive autism treatments for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of autistic children is failing families because of an 11th-hour amendment added in Albany, according to NBC News.
"In 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill mandating health insurers pay for applied behavioral analysis -- ABA for short, a therapy that can cost $150 an hour. The therapy involves one-on-one sessions where autistic children learn social interactions like eye contact, often through repetition and reward.
"Just before the law took effect last year, the state Department of Financial Services made an emergency amendment to the regulation. The amendment allows insurance companies to deny coverage if an ABA provider does not also possess an additional license for psychiatry, psychology, social work or similar professions.
"Most ABA providers are not state-licensed counselors and New York does not offer a license specifically for behavior analysts."
Changing the DSM, denying coverage---this is how America deals with autism.
"It report that 1 in 50 children has autism and 1 in every 31 boys. As if the numbers aren't staggering enough, are we to believe this country needs more awareness?"
We should all be scared. Experts have said that 80 percent of autistic Americans are under the age of 18. Maybe when a million children with autism age into adulthood we'll get serious about honestly and thoroughly addressing the cause.
"Experts say the new estimate doesn't necessarily mean autism is rising but suggests doctors are diagnosing the disorder more often, especially in older children with milder cases."
This doesn't make any sense. The new rate of one in 50 doesn't mean autism is really increasing, it's because "doctors are diagnosing the disorder more often." They're diagnosing more often because there's more autism. This is what's been happening with autism: 1995 1:500, 2001 1:250, 2004 1:166, 2007 1:150, 2009 1:110, 2012 1:88, 1:50. In the face of these numbers, federal health officials remain clueless. For those who say this is all just a better diagnosing and an expanded definition of autism, please note: the diagnosis was expanded back in 1994. Doctors should have caught on to the symptoms by 2000, but that didn't happened. The numbers keep on rising and health officials have never even called autism a crisis.