Out With the Old – In With the New

When I think of the end of the week I don’t think of major news stories. I don’t prepare myself for gripping, fearful statistics being unveiled. My thoughts are on relaxing with my family and catching up with my husband who works two jobs to sustain our family’s needs. This week is different though. This is the week the autism community waited for the “new” autism rate to be announced. I say “new” because as we all know, the statistics being cited are not from current cases but are in fact from statistics gathered many years ago.

A brief history on the numbers:

Since the national autism rate has been being tracked, the rates have been:

1 in 10,000 – 1980s

1 in 500 – 2000

1 in 250 – 2002

1 in 166 – 2004

1 in 150 – 2007

1 in 110 – 2010

1 in 88 – 2012

Before your jaw drops to the floor please remember that the last figure is inaccurate as a current rate: the bean counters used statistics reflective of children born in the year 2000. Data was gathered from a report written in 2008. A little reminder for you dear reader, the current year is 2012.

You may now drop that jaw of yours as you realize that the 1 in 88 is probably far worse. What happened to the last four years’ worth of statistics, and why can’t that data be included in the “new” rates as well? Is it to ease us into what the autism community already knows, that we’re witnessing a national health crisis that has been down played and ignored?

We, on the other hand know that crisis all too well. We see those children filling up special education classrooms now at higher rates than ever before. We hear these children having major meltdowns at grocery stores, our town libraries and at on the playground. We feel the effects of the catastrophe that comes from the many health problems these children suffer.

We feel it in our hearts as we ache to make it stop. We feel it in our being and promise to tell everyone about it. We know things are wrong, and that children, our children have been hurt.

What’s been done to our children has contributed to an imminent disaster from this national epidemic. What’s been ignored will contribute to the crumble of the ill-suited systems not equipped to prepare, protect and provide care for these children, the very children a medical system helped destroy. What’s been denied will absolutely contribute to the lack of compassion, consideration and treatment of these children, who if continued to be ignored, will grow up into full-grown adults with severe issues and no support.

We already know that many more children in 2012 have autism. To those of us who know, who wish it wasn’t like this, who want to make it better, we can honestly say autism is everywhere. The sad part is we’re being told it’s not.

When 1 in 88 is really closer to at least one neighbor, one extended family member, one old high school friend, one church friend and one more stranger we meet who happnes to have a child just like ours, than maybe the officials will finally hear what we’ve been worried about for so long. Maybe then the “new” number will be more precise. Maybe then the numbers will grip the rest of the nation with fear to finally want do something about it.

1 in 88. Believable? No. Worth worrying about? Very much.

Tired of being told it’s nothing to fret over and that it’s just genetics and kids will outgrow it?

We are.

Thinking Moms’ Revolution.

Join it.

Do it today before 1 in 88 turns into too many too late.

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15 Responses to Out With the Old – In With the New

  1. marie says:

    While each message connects deeply to me, today the one that struck the deepest chord was compassionate teachers. I read a most disturbing story about special education teacher and aide mistreating a student with special needs. How can a specialty teacher plead ignorance or even be allowed to have their job back after something like this. If a parallel mistake happened in a regular work environment an employee would be fired. As the majority of children with special needs spend so much time in school environment, and with occurrences akin to these being the norm and not the exception, I wonder what can be done. Institutions such as medicine and education are profiting off of the suffering of children who are in essence becoming inmates. FOr children trapped in a nonverbal state, (already suffering in fear) I wonder what kind of monitoring and improved safeguards could potentially be instituted.


    I remember the story with Kim Stagliano and her daughter and the abuse on the bus.. and what really happened to the driver and her daughter.. not too much.

    What if the same assault took place on a child without a special need would a different standard of punishment have been met?

    Children with special needs are not in a different race or a different class of citizens. THe potential of human beings to heal and have meaningful lives is not solely limited by lack of solution from medical science, but additionally and in my opinion by the lack of true awareness of the human experience and the profound healing that comes through something that is free. Kindness and understanding and restraint of coercive techniques. I wonder how many teachers and doctors could hold up to the scrutiny and abuse that parents and the child with special needs is placed under…. Acceptance must also be tempered with not limiting possibility solely because of a diagnostic label. Medicine doesn’t really know much about human potential and how to unlock it and the system in place in the educational system certainly is not doing much better… and in neither case is it due to lack of funding (which is always the excuse). Having worked in both the teaching and research fields I know that often progress is limited by complacency and lack of attempt at true understanding. Most solutions also usually come outside the field.

    Life in every form is a gift and there are so many simple inexpensive ways to encourage healing- such as not telling mom’s who know their children best that what they know and observe is not true — But there must be a way to make the abuse in schools and coercion in medicine stop, particularly in absence of true understanding of individuals with disabilities.

    Thanks to those who put this revolution of mom’s together. IT is the mom’s that will lead to the solutions in every aspect of this epidemic of childhood disease and those that are parasites to those suffering.

  2. Jan Houston says:

    I work for a small tax preparation company. In our office, there were three of us who knew a great deal about autism. Two grandmothers who had affected grandsons, and myself, who has a son with autism. This is out of maybe 10 employees. 1 in 88? I wish.

    • Cheryl Bailey says:

      I agree with you Jan. I live in a small town, yet there are 5 of us within 4 miles of each other, different ages, 4 boys and 1 girl. Then there are the grandparents within that circle that have grandkids out of town with autism. Honestly…can anyone go anywhere anymore and NOT run into autism?

      • Amy in Idaho says:

        The short answer – no. I’m a trainer and I usually use my story to illustrate a point in my workshops. There is ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE person in the audience that wants to talk to me about autism because they too are affected (the topic I speak on doesn’t have anything to do with ASD). And these are just the people inclined to self-disclose. I used to enjoy meeting new groups of people but now it’s just depressing because so many are affected.

  3. kimspencer says:

    I in 88 IS too many too late. We are way past that. And still they say, “these families need help…”. And then…there’s no help. While we scream and scream and no one hears us…like a bad dream.

  4. moneytmr says:

    CNN announced the numbers today and noted that when asked people pointed to “better diagnosis” “increased awareness” and that 50% or more “Don’t know.” The Thinking Dad in our house said, “The ‘We don’t know’ part of the explanation is not too hard to figure out unless you work for a vaccine manufacturer.”

    Better diagnosis? Increased awareness? They really think parents didn’t use to notice that their two year old stopped talking, never started talking or stopped looking at them? No one has ever been that oblivious. This Thinking Mom thinks her Thinking Dad is right on the money.

  5. Planetpj says:

    Based on my kids school, the number is more like 1 in 20, which does not include any other diagnosis.

  6. Amy in Idaho says:

    Two years ago I remember the expected number being floated was 1 in 88 and then it was announced – 1 in 110. I don’t even believe that the 1 in 88 is the correct number for that particular cohort (cynical, I know) let alone the “true” number of children affected.

  7. Cheryl Bailey says:

    We are everywhere, I don’t understand why people don’t see it. My worst day was a couple of years ago when I went to the hospital to see my Mom. Small town of less than 20,000. Naturally I have my son, that’s one. I get on the elevator with another autistic child, his brother took one look at me and said, “Don’t mind my brothers ramblings, he as autism.” I said, “I understand, see this grown up teen, he does too.” That’s two. I get off, go see my Mom, get back on the elevator and go down a floor. The door opens to the maternity wing and there stands a Dad trying with all his might to control an autistic preschooler, all I could think was, “Do you know why your child is screaming and flapping and God help you, you are here to meet your new little brother according to the shirt he is wearing.” Door closes with the child screaming and I could hear the Dad saying, “We have GOT to find out why he can’t talk anymore….” That’s three. I ride on down, leave go to Subway for my Mom, and while standing in line hear that makes your blood run cold scream and turn to find yet another autism case…grade school age…Mom struggling to shot to another person in line her order….That’s four in less than two hours….And autism use to be unheard of…50 years ago Bernard Rimlin who had a degree in psychology…had to have someone help him understand his son had autism…he had never hear of it in school….Now we have commercials on tv about celebrities with autistic children…God help us, we are destroying ourselves one child at a time.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I thought autism awareness was supposed to take care of all the people who don’t believe the numbers and think it is just over diagnosing. Now we are coming up on the month long autism party that most people will ignore, and the well meaning ones will keep donating to AS because they are the Susan Komen Foundation of autism. Nice to know how much all those walk $$ have accomplished.
    I hope someday we will see TACA or GR tv ads too. Oh wait.. they spend their money on helping families, not advertising or genetic research.

  9. I saw an ad yesterday on TV that said it was one out of every 110. Not nit-picking your number but DAMN! 1 out of every 110 is beyond alarming and that is being broadcast on the TV and it seems that no one cares. Maybe people are just in shock, dumbstruck and it is too large…

    I personally know people who don’t believe it. They think for some reason it HAS to be something else AND that these kids just weren’t being Dx’ed before now. There is much to over come. To have a prayer at turning the tide, many more people need to open their eyes.

  10. Holly B says:

    When will the government care? Maybe when there are no more taxpayers left to pay their salaries! With 1:6 kids in special ed, we’re on our way… 🙁

  11. Diane says:

    Those numbers are horrific.. if AIDs affected 1 in 88 every researcher in the world, every journalist, every politician would send our Country into a national panic..

    How long can they ignore this epidemic…

    My mind immediately goes to Mito. 10 years ago, only the most severe and only a certain sub type of Mito was recognized. Today, we are becoming aware that perhaps mitochondrial disease is approaching an epidemic- where autism and mito cross is that our children are being damaged by something we are doing – what else could possibly explain it?

    Why does the medical world and government turn their back and pretend there is no problem? I suspect because they know what caused it and don’t want it to be known. 5 years ago I would thought I was being paranoid.. but today? Not paranoid at all.

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