Imagine being told that your child would never give you a hug or say, “I love you.” Imagine that your child would never live independently. Many parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities face these realities every day. ASD is used to describe a group of developmental disorders which range in severity, symptoms and level of disability. These include autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and other disorders which affect a child’s ability to communicate and socialize.
April is Autism Awareness Month and provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of support for research, early intervention, timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
The national statistics are startling. One in 68 children in the United States is diagnosed with ASD. In addition, there are increased rates of intellectual disabilities, ADHD, learning disabilities and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is clear that the need to address our children's developmental health has reached a critical stage. …
In recent years, there has been increased research examining possible reasons for the rising rates of ASD, but much work remains to be done. The increased prevalence of these diagnoses is partly due to a better understanding and earlier identification of the symptoms.
"Critical stage"? Kadish may find the numbers startling, but our health officials do not.
Here's what I posted on the Fox News story:
Over the last 25 years autism, a once rare disorder, has become so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child, and health officials are at a loss to tell us why.
Dr. Kadish attributes this to “better understanding,” but it seems that doctors have only been able to pick up autism in children, not adults. No one has ever been able to show us a comparable rate among adults, and that simple fact should scare us all.
Here’s what experts tell us: One in every 68 eight year olds, including one in every 42 boys, (the only age group studied for the official rate) has autism. They also tell us that 25 percent of them are non-verbal. Furthermore, 30 percent of them experienced a loss of learned skills and regression into autism. Doctors can’t tell us why it happens. And 50 percent of children with autism are prone to wandering.
It is hard to believe that somehow humans have always been disabled in such huge numbers and we only recently picked up on it.
Autism is not a priority for health officials. So far, no one at our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ever referred to autism as “a crisis.”
“Serious public health concern” is the strongest language any official has ever used when talking about autism. No one at the CDC has ever stated that more children today actually have autism.
INCREASES IN THE OFFICIAL RATE OF AUTISM IN THE US.
1995: 1 in 500
2001: 1 in 250
2004: 1 in 166
2007: 1 in 150
2009: 1 in 110
2012: 1 in 88
2014: 1 in 68
2016: 1 in 68
Each time the numbers were increased, some official was right there to declare that they weren’t sure if THIS particular rate represented a true increase—something the media used to report that autism has always been this prevalent.
These disabled children, and the generations to follow, will be dependent on the taxpayers for their support and care. I think our real task for Autism Awareness Month is to wake up doctors and health officials to the disastrous effect autism is having on our children.
Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism