Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 in 88 ... how many until it's an epidemic?

I should be working on Evergreen today, but I have to speak out. I’m angered, saddened, and somewhat depressed about CDC’s new numbers of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It’s now 1 in 88, four times more likely to be boys than girls. But what’s even more maddening this is that it’s being swept under the carpet as status quo … why you ask. That’s a good question.

History shows Polio was an epidemic when the rate was 1 in 2,700. So, you’d think 1 in 88 should be an epidemic. Maybe? How did we go from 1 in 10,000 children born fifty years ago to 1 in 88 today? Why isn’t this an “urgent public health concern?” Why hasn’t the CDC chosen to advise new parents on measures they can do to help decrease the chance of a child developing autism? I know one thing they have done … I see it every morning on a beautiful billboard with a healthy baby and a big needle.

Maybe this is why: Ginger Taylor, Executive Director of The Canary Party, said:

"We hold the CDC accountable for failing to warn parents about the risks of these exposures, and especially for CDC’s own bloated, one-size-fits-all vaccine schedule – which exploded in the late 80’s after vaccine makers were indemnified against litigation by Congress.” 

But then the NY TIMES says:

 “The frequency of autism spectrum diagnoses has been increasing for decades, but researchers cannot agree on whether the trend is a result of heightened awareness, an expanding definition of the spectrum, an actual increase in incidence or some combination of those factors. Diagnosing the condition is not an exact science. Children “on the spectrum” vary widely in their abilities and symptoms, from mute and intellectually limited at one extreme to socially awkward at the other. Children with such diagnoses often receive extensive state-financed support services — which some experts believe may have contributed to an increase in numbers.” 

Excuse me??? Heightened awareness is increasing the numbers? As if people are just looking to exploit free services. Yeah… please. Where can I sign up for someone to tell me my son isn’t talking because he has autism and that the treatment is for therapists to come in my home 40 hours a week to work with him 1 on 1, not to mention the countless hours of collecting data, reports, paperwork, and the social worker monitoring everything because they have to justify paying for it. I’d like to wring the writer’s neck of that article and tell him it’s not easy to get a diagnosis and the tool used to figure it out has tightened up to better diagnosis kids. Just ask anyone in special Ed. This isn’t some glorified “diagnosis” to get extra attention. These kids are real and need help.

So, their solution you ask? Oh wait… it’s a doozy.

“Doctors working to update the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders have proposed significant changes to the definition of autism, due to take effect in 2013. If the changes are a carried out, experts say, they could significantly reduce the number of children being given a diagnosis.”

So, if you want to reduce the rate, let’s just reduce the diagnoses, right? Because that's the problem. Overzealous psychologists. In 2013 there will be a NEW tool used to diagnosis Autism: the DSM-5. And with this new “diagnosing” tool, kids like my son will magically be cured because they won’t be diagnosed on the autism spectrum as PDD-NOS, nor Asbergers. Isn’t that brilliant? My previously non-talking son wouldn’t be considered “bad” enough to qualify for services. We just underwent four years of therapy to catch him up so he can go to typical school with typical peers almost unsupported. He’s a prime candidate for success on the system. But to reduce the numbers, they’re sweeping him and “mute” others just so we DON’T have an epidemic. The thought of where he’d be today if we didn't get the service we fought for which pulled him out of his lonely speechless world sickens me. I probably wouldn’t have been able to have a quiet moment to write this article.

I guess that’s what you do when you can’t be sued, aren’t held responsible, hold the patients, and control the media. Push the problem onto someone else, which ultimately be you, dear tax payer, because the kids on the spectrum (who won’t be diagnosed anymore) won’t be silent, and if you've haven't experienced a tantrum, in a few years you will.

Something is very wrong and it’s so clearly points to something environmental (not just what’s in the syringe), and if you’re a parent or about to become a parent, these numbers should be very alarming to you and prompt you to research (and not just from those who profit from the herd or are penalized if you don’t do what they prescribe).

As a parent of a child in this “group”, I demand that government call this an epidemic and take action to make our air, water, foods, medicines and vaccine program safer.