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The "Enigma" of Autism In Arkansas

Poltergeist-originalWAKE UP ARKANSAS! The end is near.

In the midst of a flurry of coverage in the media about the threat posed by measles outbreaks in the U.S., I found a truly frightening story from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

State autism-treatment options scarce, but growing was all about how the state government fails children with autism. It seems that in Arkansas, autism is a real problem.

The Democrat Gazette gives readers real things to worry about. It’s the inevitable position every state in the U.S. will be in the next few years.

To summarize: the epidemic of autism shows no signs of slowing down, and there simply aren’t enough services to address it.

Reporter Alex Golden uses the example of a 2 year-old who stopped talking and was diagnosed with autism. Incredibly, Golden says nothing about why a child would regress. It’s just autism.

From there he goes on to talk about THE PRICE TAG OF AUTISM.

Autism costs an average of about $60,000 a year through childhood, with the bulk of the costs in special services and lost wages related to increased demands on one or both parents. Costs increase with the occurrence of intellectual disability.

And it isn’t just the cost of care, what’s worse is the absence of help for these children.

It's also a struggle in Northwest Arkansas to get treatment for children who are on the autism spectrum, a problem that parents and professionals attribute to a lack of services and professionals in the field. …

Golden cites one service provider who just can’t keep up with demand.

The Schmieding Center is expecting about 2,000 referrals for autism evaluations this year, but it will be able to conduct only about 300, said Dr. Mary Ann Scott, the center's section chief. The center has a limited number of providers who diagnose autism, and an evaluation generally takes a provider's entire workday, Scott said. About 40%, or 800, of the referrals complete the process to get on Schmieding's wait list. The list is nine to 15 months long, she said.

Another clinician tells us that “the whole state is underserved in applied behavior analysis therapy.” 

The rate of one in 59 CHILDREN is cited and Golden says that “more children” have autism today.

So what’s happening here? Where did this childhood condition come from? Why are officials failing so many?

Golden isn’t really interested in any of that. He retreats to the official mantra on autism: The exact reason for that increase is unclear but is likely, in part, because of better detection and a broader definition of the disorder, the CDC says.

If it were really the case that “better detection”/”boarder definition” is responsible for the increase, we logically would have to ask what Arkansas did for these kids when their disorder was called something else.

Has Arkansas always ignored kids disabled with autism like this? Golden doesn’t care. He tells us there’s nothing to worry about. The increase may not be real

Members of the press almost always talk like this. There is no concern over why it’s so easy to diagnose kids with autism, but no one is able to find the same rate among adults.

One in 59 children with autism also means that one in 38 boys is autistic.  Obstetricians should have to warn every pregnant woman about those odds, especially if the child she’s carrying is a boy.

Clearly, Golden has no concept of the future. IF ARKANSAS can’t provide for the majority of autistic children today, what’s going to happen when they’re adults? What are the chances there will be anything for them?

Reporters are like federal health officials and doctors. All of them look at autism as a medical curiosity we have all the time in the world to figure out. I’m sure they’ll all be scratching their collective heads over autism when the adults have no place to go and the children just keep on coming.

Reporters like Golden have no idea how the autism numbers have grown.

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

2018: 1 in 59

(New Jersey, 2018: 1 in 34, 1 in every 22 boys)

The media knows nothing about the history of autism, and this is their biggest failure.

The “boarder definition” claim comes from the 1994 DSM IV that added milder symptoms featured in Asperger’s Syndrome.

Then in 2013, the DSM 5 dropped the sub-diagnoses of Asperger’s et al., so the definition was narrowed with no effect on the relentlessly increasing rate.

Welcome to the United States of Autism. It’s where we’re headed.





I think one of the most dangerous myths of modern medicine is that bad things just happen to our bodies and modern medicine is the only tool to save it. So many assumptions. Why would a parent even question why their child got autism. It’s just bad luck! Nothing we can do about it.
It is somewhat true that accidents happen to humans and sometimes we can’t control our environment to prevent bad things, but using that belief as the bedrock of a medicine system, just means we won’t treat disease with the right mindset, and we can never ask the right questions, or change our futures.

Barry Stern

Maybe readers have seen this:

He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise … follow him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep…awaken him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is willing … teach him.
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool … shun him.

And those who know not, and are too lazy to know more by seeking unshakable facts and double-checking with unbiased sources, represent most American journalists today … ignore them or change the channel.

Jonathan Rose

"IF ARKANSAS can’t provide for the majority of autistic children today, what’s going to happen when they’re adults?" We already know what's going to happen to them. In New Jersey, a state that has a reputation for relatively good autism services, the reality is that autistic adults are often grossly neglected and mistreated:

And here's a similarly gruesome story from Arizona:

Group homes are touted as the solution for autistic adults, but many of them only reproduce (on a smaller scale) all the abuses that we used to associate with big state mental hospitals.


Yes, many children around the world are genetically predisposed to lose language and other skills in the second year of life. It's just that nobody noticed before.


New Jersey 1 out of 34 is reflecting all of the nation.


Those stats are wrong by the way.
Barbara Loe Fisher, and Harris Coulter were guessing - educated guess is all stats are anyway; and they thought it was 1 out of 250-350 kids back in the late 70s and 80s.

Yeah, Barbara Fisher was darn right.
From my Observations of me living through those years, with involvement in the school system, now seeing years later the outcome of my school friends' children; those that have to this very day; undiagnosed PDD-NOS, those milder sub-diagnoses of Asperger’s, those still living with their parents, or still very emotionally/financially dependent on their parents, their unbelievable life stories of unbelievable outcomes, their stories in many cases of deaths; their stories that if you wrote as a fiction novel would be so unbelievable, they would not sell; Yeah, Barbara Fisher was darn right.

Laura Hayes

At the most currently-reported rate of 1 in 36, that is 9259 cases of autism diagnosed in children PER MONTH, every month of the year, in the U.S.

That is a national emergency of the most urgent sort, not a few cases of beneficial, immune-system-developing measles imparting lifetime immunity.

Excellent point about the lack of warning mothers about their risk of having a child with autism.

The Vaccine Holocaust earnest...with so many complicit.

Bob Moffit

'Reporters are like federal health officials and doctors. All of them look at autism as a medical curiosity we have all the time in the world to figure out. I’m sure they’ll all be scratching their collective heads over autism when the adults have no place to go and the children just keep on coming.'

It is all a matter of priorities for "reporters, federal health officials, doctors, politicians, schools, etc." … which is more threatening to our children and country … autism or MEASLES?

Given that choice … it is evident that MEASLES is the NUMBER ONE PUBLIC HEALTH PRIORITY IN THE COUNTRY.


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