Monday, April 2, 2012

Autism Awareness Month

Today is Autism Awareness Day, kicking off Autism Awareness Month. According to the CDC, the rate of autism has gone up 78% in the past ten years. That's pretty freaking unbelievable.
The biggest question, of course, is WHY?

Mark Roithmayr, president of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, says more children are being diagnosed with autism because of "better diagnosis, broader diagnosis, better awareness, and roughly 50% of 'We don't know.'"
Yep. Still. No one knows. You'll see lots of theories, some valid, and some, well, some are so insane you can't believe they're real.

Honestly, the why isn't on the top of my list of questions. I'm looking to the future for the kids we already HAVE with this diagnosis. I mean, I guess I don't understand why there isn't more of a public outcry over these numbers! Imagine 1 in 88 kids in wheelchairs. You'd barely be able to walk down the hallways at school. 1 in 88 kids who were blind, or had cancer. 1 in 88 kids just vanishing....this is MORE THAN 1% OF OUR POPULATION! These kids are going to grow to be autistic adults. Despite what Jenny McCarthy thinks, there are plenty of adults with autism now, and there are about to be a whole lot more.  Hopefully, many of them will be able to care for themselves and have jobs and contribute to society....but they won't ALL. And they won't all have families to care for them, either.
There is some awareness regarding adults with autism now. The Secretary-General of the UN had this to say today:
Although developmental disabilities such as autism begin in childhood, they persist throughout a person’s life. Our work with and for people with autism should not be limited to early identification and treatment; it should include therapies, educational plans and other steps that lead us towards sustained, lifelong engagement.
I completely agree. I would really like to see more attention being given to older teens and adults...we have all seen the adorable faces of the little ones with autism...let's see how some of them have grown up! 

No comments:

Post a Comment