Light It Up Blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Everyone has by now heard about the CDC's revision of autism rates this week. You'd have to live under a rock to miss it. Sometimes people need to see the numbers, I get that, but just as often we lose the perspective in the big picture.
D is my one in eighty-eight. He certainly isn't the only one that counts to me, but he's the one , about whom, I am an expert. Much like those number crunchers up at the CDC. I have a specialty in the big picture. It's the big picture of one little man.
Widen that lens to include eighty-eight others, then hundreds and thousands, just like him, and my heart stops for a second. This number is up from 1 in 110. Think of the impact of that increase, even if it can be explained by detection. One in every eighty-eight who needs neurology, special education, dental care, accommodations and modifications, and more medical care than I can even name. It's mind boggling.
There is not just personal devastation with every autism diagnosis, but there is a social and economic devastation, as well. Autism has to become a priority, not just for the parents of the diagnosed or the lobby, but for society at large. Denial can't be laughed off any longer, nor can indifference continue unchecked. With rates rising at this pace, one thing is certain; whoever you are and whatever you do, it's only a matter of time.