Saturday, July 4, 2009

1 in 100

Recently, I read an article that estimates the autism rate in the US as 1 in 100. As always, this number is debated as it is different than the number the CDC has published. However, this got me thinking.

1 in 100. Wow. Does that seem high to anyone else? Why have the numbers grown so much? I have a few theories of my own, but nothing that I can prove. My theories include things like:
  • The qualifications for autism have widened so that they include children that would not have previously been included.
  • More people having their children "officially" diagnosed in order to benefit from the outpouring of programs available
  • Vaccine link
  • Food link
  • Environmental link
I won't go into each of these to explain my theory on them. I think that you may not find it interesting at all, or would just write me off as crazy. That's ok. I can handle it :-)

After I was thinking about 1 in 100 for a while something else struck me as odd. 1 in 100? Is that all? What I mean is this: I can name 10 children right off the top of my head that have some form of autism. These children belong to friends of mine. I did not meet them in some type of autism support group. These are just children that have crossed my path over the natural course of 7 years time. The 10 children that I can name doesn't even count all the children that I worked with in high school when I was in day cares and school age child care programs. However, I don't think that I would venture to say that I know 1000 children, even if I counted all of the child care kids. Not that I'm going to sit here and count them, but I'm pretty sure that I would fall short of 1000.

What do you think? Is 1 in 100 high or low?

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