Did you know the latest statistics are suggesting that Autism is affecting 1 in 100 children now?
I’ll repeat that really slowly so we all hear it.
One. In One Hundred.
One percent of all children age 2 – 17 in the US have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism, PDD-NOS, aspergers, or other autism spectrum disorder) and another .6% were once told they were on the Spectrum but no longer are. (We’ll talk about that one later)
Wake up people. Something is happening to our children. It isn’t just “better diagnosis” though I am sure that is a small part of it. Autism feels like the “disease du jour” these days – like it’s the cool thing for your child to have.
Well it’s not a cool thing to have. Waiting four plus years to hear Nathan speak in sentances? Not cool. Watching him struggle to simply throw a ball, never mind catch one? Not cool. Seeing him off in his own world, unable to make friends or join in a game? Not cool. Missing work due to yet another doctor or therapy appointment? Not cool. Giving him yet another antibiotic because he’s always sick? Cleaning up the disgusting diapers? Wondering why he was so sensitive to temperature, texture and changes to routine. SO NOT COOL.
I have all kinds of theories why we are seeing increasing numbers of autism. We know for sure that people with Fragile X are sometimes also diagnosed with autism, 30% was the last stat I saw. There is a genetic link though FX is only one of them. To that end, I urge you, get the The Southern Blot DNA test with PCR analysis. It is 99%+ accurate in diagnosing Fragile X. The only problem with these tests is that they may not pick up a deletion of the gene, which can occur but is a rare. Southern Blot DNA test with PCR analysis is less expensive than the older karotyping/chromosome analysis tests. (Thanks Sally!)
I love Nathan for who he is and all that I know he can be. We’ve pursued treatment for him, not because we want him to be “normal” but because we want him to be as high-functioning and happy as is possible. The same as we want for Eric. Nathan takes a thousand repetitions to learn a new task (which is down from the 10,000 it used to take, I am not really exaggerating) where Eric might take 10. So, we need the extra intervention and assistance to get that done.
Here’s the thing. Autism rates are rising & no one knows why. If this was cancer, we’d all be screaming. Well, I’m screaming. Something is happening to our children and the longer we wait, waste time and argue about the research the less we are doing to help them. We need help. The kids need it, schools need it, parents need it.
If you are facing an autism diagnosis, I urge you, again, get the Fragile X test done. Second, chin up. This is just a bunch of letters. If I have learned anything in the last year it is this – the only limit to your child’s abilities is the limit of what you imagine is possible.