New incidence numbers came out last month, and the CDC announced that the rate of autism is 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.  Those are epidemic level numbers. However, I waited to post about this until almost everyone else had their say.  My reason is pretty simple. This incidence rate doesn’t change anything for me personally.

Don’t misunderstand me. This level of incidence is a public health crisis. For some reason, however, our government officials don’t see fit to do anything meaningful about it. They throw a few dollars our way and check it off their list, not even thinking that the pittance provided doesn’t scratch the surface of the true need.  I guess if our kids were dying in droves there would be more of a sense of urgency. As it stands, however, the bulk of our resources are shifted to other issues, like oil subsidies and corporate tax breaks.

My main point, however, is that my incidence rate hasn’t changed. I have one son, and he has autism. My incidence rate is 100%.  Our family situation hasn’t changed, although now there will be more families that will be in our situation. My son’s challenges are still the focus of our family’s  attention, and no public policy announcement or incidence rate update will change that.

I know some folks who were a little down because of the rate change. My advice is not to let it bother you. That rate is a number taken after the fact.  It doesn’t cause the rise, nor does it affect the outcome. Our kids can learn. Our kids are smart. Our kids can grow in ways the world is not ready to understand. Let’s keep working to change our world into a world our kids can live in freely.

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