Hi, friends. We've been online since 2007 as Age of Autism. We post on a wide range of content, and sometimes I am chided for content that is NOT about autism. When our founding editor Dan Olmsted was with UPI, he wrote a series of columns that he called, "The Age of Autism' about the rise of autism. He kept hearing that the Amish did not have autism at anywhere near the rate the non-amish population, and being a Yale trained journalist, he sniffed a hell of a story. Little did he know that this story would take over his career and his heart, causing both love and ache.
Each Friday before his death, I would eagerly await his Editor's post for Saturday. Dan was sometimes pithy, sometimes his posts took a long form. He never failed to artfully dissect the story and lay it out in terms we could all understand.
I miss Dan Olmsted.
The Age of Autism has grown more dire. As the early 90s birth cohort enters adulthood we see a lack of services and supports. Families who spent their last dime on treatments, therapies, for whom cure was a goal, not a swearword, are exhausted. Most of us have not caught the brass ring - our kids are still severely impaired by autism. At the same time, there's a flood of toddlers being diagnosed and their outcome is no brighter. I talk to young parents who are in the diagnosis process. NOTHING has changed in the 20 years since my Mia and Gianna were diagnosed by a callous jerk of a neurologist in Cleveland, Ohio. Parents of newly diagnosed kids still do not know where or how to begin. School is not enough. Early intervention is not enough. Pediatricians have a sum total of ZERO to offer in terms of treatment. My district took in eleven students into the autism classroom this year. 11! Districts across the nation are battling a new student body - violent, chronically ill, uneducable in any standard classroom. And Nero fiddles.
Today, healthy American children are being ostracized, demonized and expelled from school for lack of this or that vaccine. Vaccines are taking over our nation. And whether you a someone who believes you should take your vaccines and vaccinate your children per the CDC schedule, or someone who will never take one or vaccinate your children, your ears should be pricked up over this march toward mass vaccination.
We are in The Age of Vaccination and I dearly miss Dan Olmsted.