A friend just linked me to this disturbing news from the site Autism Speaks: the prevalence of autism is now at 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys, 1 in 252 girls). According to the article, “By comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined.*” Which begs one to ask the question that hundreds of parents are asking:
What the fuck is going on?!
I’ve heard many reactions from Americans in general: “the diagnoses are increasing,” “it’s the new ADHD,” “it’s gotta be what’s in our food,” “maybe it’s environmental…”. The problem with all of these speculations is that no one is pushing for a definitive answer. And we need one. NOW.
I’ve written about the importance of understanding autismbefore, because, let’s face it folks, with prevalence like this, we’re all affected. There is no more ignoring the obvious.
Is it vaccines?
Is it environmental?
Is it all of the above?
I won’t pretend like I know what it is like to have a child with autism, but I do know that the first time our son started shaking his head back-and-forth as a baby, or exhibiting signs of enjoying repetition, my husband and I looked at each other with the same look of fear: “AUTISM!” Autism is nothing to be feared, to be sure, but this is the point to which we have been brought. We, meaning all parents, have come to expect that our children will be affected by this disorder.
I am scared for our youth’s future. I am frightened by the possibility that SOMEONE knows the answer to the autism puzzle–and knows that we won’t like the answer. Moreover, I ache for parents and parents-to-be who are being left in the dark concerning Autism.
So, I urge you to educate yourself. Visit any of the sites below and start learning MORE.