America is the Land of Opportunity, founded by people who strongly believed if you want something badly enough it can be yours for the taking, with the emphasis on the taking. Another way of looking at it is the “Smash ‘n Grab” philosophy, often enacted after a “Scatter and Confuse” military tactic ensues. Let’s leave that idea alone for now and move on to the rate of autism.
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement on new autism numbers that previously had been embargoed. Communities of people, concerned about the continuously growing numbers, tussle over the question of “why” rather than “how many, really”. We just know there are many children with autism. Americans accept what our government tells us as reported in the media.
In 2007, my youngest son was 9 years old. Abstractors came into his school to count him. This is a boy who is definitely in the system. He was identified with having autism before he was 3 years old. He entered the public school system at 3. He was seen at TEACCH. He is in the autism category for receiving CAP Medicaid. The information that my son has autism has never been difficult to find. Yet, in order to do a thorough count, the CDC covered all reporting areas in this site, one of eleven across the country.
Incidentally, I was surprised to learn that FERPA and HIPAA are not violated when the CDC wants to come into your child’s school to look at confidential records. Permission does not have to be given by parents, nor must parents be notified that records have been opened for strangers to peruse.
Much money and time have been given to count children with autism. A staggering number is being reported, but I know a couple of patient men with an adding machine that came out with scarier facts much earlier than the CDC, using much less money. The CDC came up with their numbers using a limited number of sites; Dr. F. Edward Yazbak’s and Mr. Raymond Gallup’s studies included ALL children known to the US Department of Education. This information is not kept embargoed, but is regularly reported to the United States Congress.
Autism rates have been altered frequently since the first of my three sons was diagnosed. In 1999, after the multidisciplinary diagnostic team said, “Autism” and I said, “What is it?”, I was handed an old one-sheet of facts a speech therapist had lying around. It described autism as a rare, neurological disorder of the brain lasting throughout a person’s lifetime, affecting 1-in-10,000 people. The announcement Friday stated we now have 1 in 110 children with autism; 1 in 70 children are boys with autism.
After that initial diagnosis in 1999, the other two children were also labeled in a little more than a year. And, after the Congressional Hearings on autism in 2000, I didn’t sleep for three days.
Below are Dr. Paul Offit on the left and my Granny Davis on the right. Dr. Offit is a patent holder on a childhood vaccine and author of Autism’s False Prophets. Dr. Offit does not treat children with autism. Granny Davis holds my youngest, the child who was counted with the 8 year-olds in 2006.
Granny is now 101 years old. She adheres to common-sense life practices: hard work, eating fresh foods, taking as little medicine as possible. Her generation took cod liver oil and soaked in Epsom salt baths. Processed foods were a sweet potato peeled, or an ear of corn husked. Granny was probably one of the first in her town to own a copy of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. She was also the first to voice my unspoken fears. She told me my babies needed help.
Dr. Offit decries those who want more research into the current vaccination schedule. He opposes those that would heal children from vaccine injury. I don’t know whose baby he’s holding up in this picture. I only know it isn’t mine.
Let’s get back to the American Opportunity idea. All the major autism organizations were prompt to release statements following our government’s announcement. All were politely yet vehemently adamant about how we need more research, services, MONEY,…but the truth is we are at war, and maybe we shouldn’t be so polite. Many of our children have been smashed and grabbed. It’s time to smash and grab back.Tags: Alison Davis, autism, autism rate, CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, F. Edward Yazbak, momof3au, Raymond Gallup