Last March (2011) as World Autism Awareness Day approached, I wrote a post – Autism = The New Normal? Here’s what I wrote at the end of the post:
“As April approaches, I say bring on the awareness and bring on a ton of added acceptance for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorders, too. Please. But, let us not forget for a moment that we (as a society) need to focus on prevention in a big way. While we don’t fully understand what is 'causing' Autism Spectrum Disorders, we do know there are likely environmental and genetic components – probably working in tandem to create this group of symptoms we presently label ASD. These kids are often very physically ill in a variety of ways, have impaired communication skills, struggle with gross and fine motor skills, experience significant social challenges, and must learn to live with developmental delays, repetitive behaviors/focuses and often cognitive challenges. Autism is exhausting. Autism is expensive. Autism takes a heavy toll on families. And yet, Autism is continually increasing…
This spring, my prayers include thanks to God for the many blessings present in my life, but I’m also praying for future, unbiased studies which will address Autism causation and prevention. We need answers and guidance.
Autism may very well be the new 'normal' if we don’t turn things around soon.
Do you feel the same nagging sense of urgency?”
Now, as I reread my words on the heels of the CDC’s announcement last week that 1 in 88 American children (and 1 in 54 boys) lives with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (up from their last estimate of 1 in 110), I feel a sense of urgency more than ever before.