|The affliction is characterized by chronic acute...cuteness.|
You should first read the paragraph at the bottom of the news story discussing the survey that says this:
"It's also controversial.
The new statistic comes from a national phone survey of more than 95,000 parents in 2011 and 2012. Less than a quarter of the parents contacted agreed to answer questions, and it's likely that those with autistic kids were more interested than other parents in participating in a survey on children's health, CDC officials said."
To recap what that said...they called 95,000 people. Less than 23,750 agreed to participate. They believe it's likely that those who did participate were more likely to have a vested interest (i.e., were autistic or had autistic children). So, no medical records, just a phone survey with parents.
1:50 is the number the survey returned. And that's a good thing for parents of kids with autistic children, not a bad thing.
First of all, understand this: Children either are or are not autistic. Adults either are or are not autistic. Surveys and censuses do not create autism. They just expose it to public scrutiny. So while you may have mixed feelings on the news that the CDC believes the number of autistic people is growing yearly, the number they came up with is a good thing for you or your loved ones.
Why? Because the more inflated the number (and that's not fair, I'm saying inflated like it's a fact that the number is grossly overestimated) the more concern, the more research, the more funding, the more treatment, the more press, the more exposure, the more "awareness" the more "acceptance".
What if next year the CDC does the survey again and it comes up with 1:40? And then what if the year after that they came up with 1:35? What if one day everyone was autistic to some degree or another? What if the number was 1:1?
How would the education system look if instead of autistic children being the "drain on public resources" they were just like every other kid? What if they had to do away with IEP's because every kid needed "special" accommodations in order to reach their full potential, so they had to change the way school looks entirely? What if students were taught according to their strengths and didn't spend all day working to shore up their weaknesses? What if every student could relate to every other student's neurology and struggles? What if EVERY parent understood what you were going through? What if the government, recognizing a true need started pouring money into education because it was the best way to address the needs of their growing autistic population?
If you're autistic, or have an autistic child...you should be celebrating every CDC survey that comes out with ridiculously high numbers...they mean your issues are getting serious media and political attention. They mean annoyingly ubiquitous (and often wildly inaccurate) press reports about cures and statistics, problems, abuses and intolerance that actually get your child's (or your) struggles noticed...validated...dare I say...addressed.
I don't believe the number. I don't think it was arrived at in a particularly reliable fashion. I don't think it presages any epidemic...but...I'm cool with it. Because my daughter is autistic...everybody else is just playing catch up.
If you don't feel like waiting for the government to help out autistic adults and children, please consider supporting Lily and her team "Just a Lil Walk" as we walk in May, by registering to walk, virtually walk, or donating to ABOARD in the name of "Just a Lil Team" here: Sign Up Page.
It's easy to sign up and join the team, then we can all walk and do our part to help support the needs of our ever-growing autistic population.