The recent publishing of the new statistics for ASD by the CDC are certainly not surprising. I don’t know about you, but I see autistic children EVERYWHERE. Of course, when you have a child in your home who lives with autism it doesn’t take long to recognize the signs in other children. Dropping down to 1 in 88, and 1 in 54 should give pause to everyone, regardless if you have a child with autism or not. The growth in diagnosis is going to have a profound impact on society as a whole. I am a firm believer that resources need to be created and maximized in order to more effectively and quickly diagnosis and treat those on the spectrum as early as humanly possible. The earlier the intervention starts in life the better that child’s chances are for a potential full recovery. Changing the diagnosis and “shrinking” the parameters to exclude those on the fringes of the spectrum is only going to cause a greater problem in society. The saying goes, “pay now or pay later.” The problem with not providing necessary interventions to this growing sect of our population screams, “pay now or pay much, much more later.” Our overburdened Medicaid system, and dare I say judicial system will receive an influx of those in the decades ahead from those children today who do not or cannot receive the help they need.
What you can do now is to educate yourself. Look at the facts and statistics. And if you know a family who is dealing with autism in the home, reach out and offer a helping hand in someway. Even just encouragement into the family living with autism makes a tremendous difference.