NOTE: JB Handley ran the excerpt below from Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill's new book, Denial on his Facebook page. Me? I've never been much of a math lover, but I sure agree with JB. Autism has NOT always been with us in these dramatic, traumatic numbers. To think it has is to accept an astounding level of disability as normal. Like JB's page at Facebook here.
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"I love deliciously simple math and logic that shatters the myth that autism "has always been with us." You?
"Epidemic denial doesn't add up. Take the US population of 124 million in 1931--the year the oldest child in that first report on autism was born. Divide that number by the current autism prevalence of one in sixty-eight children. There should have been 1.8 million Americans with autism in 1931.
There weren't. We have scoured the medical literature for cases before then, and there are essentially none to be found. This may seem counterintuitive--surely such children have always been around, misdiagnosed by a less sophisticated medical establishment or simply missed because they were hidden away in the attic or mental institution--but it's the simple truth.
Back up a bit more: how many people have ever lived on Earth? About 100 billion by 1931. Again, simple math yields about 1.5 billion autistic individuals who have lived before 1930.
Now we begin to glimpse the emptiness behind the Epidemic Denier's claims."
- Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill
Denial: How refusing to face the facts about our autism epidemic hurts children, families, and our future
2017, Skyhorse Publishing