1:68 Children have Autism, 1:42 out of boys and 1:189 out of girls
Today the CDC States: 1:68 children are Diagnosed with Autism.
This is a 30% increase from 2013 - using outdated statistics even (children under the age of 8 aren't even showing up on the radar yet) And don't even get me started on those who aren't diagnosed! -Soooo let's figure this - if it continues to be a 30% (roughly) increase - year after year? Next year numbers will reflect 1:50 , by 2016 we are looking at 1:35. So what does this mean? This means that for all you "NT" parents? By 2016? Your child will likely have at least one child with Autism in his/her class. AND there is an even higher probability you will have a grandchild with Autism.
To make it even more "Down to home" *Based on the numbers RIGHT NOW* - you can look at it this way- the average graduating class in the US is approximately 700 (as per 2009 the only info I could find in a relatively quick manner) - so, that being said? Let's say your graduating class your senior year was that of 700, if they all have at least 1 child- 10 of people from your class will likely have a child with Autism. Now- I graduated from a class of 30- if every single one of us had a child there is a 50% chance at least ONE person from my class will have a child with Autism.
Head spinning yet?
Think about your job- how many people work there- 100? If every one of them have ONE CHILD: At least 1 - if not two of your co-workers likely has a child with Autism.
Acceptance Will Be FAR More Important Than A Cure In Years Coming
If more people were accepting? Then parents wouldn't dread taking their children out in public because of the stares they may get- and those children would be able to learn how to function outside of their controlled environments that much sooner.
If more people were accepting? Then young adults with Autism would be more successful in the work place, if you think they don't notice staring, or if you think they don't feel "weird" from time to time- or if you think they aren't KEENLY aware at how different they are- then you are wrong- acceptance would give them the confidence they need- not to mention allow more people to hire them rather than thinking, "Who was THAT weird guy?"
If more people were accepting then they would be able to better educate their children in regards to special abilities- hey- let's be real- I have a child with Autism, two others with Asperger's, and a Husband with Asperger's- and I honestly can see how some people may feel uncomfortable around them- or perhaps even think they are "weird" - I have felt myself be uncomfortable around children who are "different" before I had one of my own- I get that it's a "normal" thing - but we can't afford for that to be the case any longer. We simply can't.
What Can You Do?
There are so many things that children with Autism need, and their parents, and I can not stress enough that acceptance is #1. I used to be a social butterfly, who loved her job, had parties, went out with friends, took my youngest everywhere. Then I had his younger brother, my middle child who was diagnosed with Autism, and after that everything became so hard. People felt sorry for me which made me bitter, people would apologize, or say they didn't know how I could do it, as if I had another option. What was I supposed to do? I HAD to do it, and behind every child with Autism is at lease ONE - if not TWO - Warrior parents, there may be Warrior siblings, Warrior Aunt and Uncles, Warrior Grandparents. All these Warriors put on their War paint and go out into society with their defenses up- ready for battle, however I'll let you in on a little secret, those defenses are paper thin.
What I mean by that is that we will drop our defenses in SECONDS and allow anyone in as long as they are kind and gentle, do you have a question? Ask us. If you see us struggling (or any parent struggling) please don't assume that "kids will be kids" - I think that is one of the hardest things- when someone says to me "Ohh we've all been there." - Have you? Have you really? Did your kid grow out of it? Mine may not- but thanks for reminding me ...
Instead a simple, "Can I help you?" would be great. In one of my son's recent fits? We were at the grocery store. He is 7 years old, he had a meltdown from HELL - he was thrashing, I couldn't hold him- I could have given him what he wanted (as I often used to) - but what was that going to teach him? I had said no - and I was sticking to my guns. SURE- LOTS of people stared at me- but there were 3 people in that whole grocery store who made a DIFFERENT choice, one woman pulled my sons pants up as he was beginning to expose his rear end ..Another woman tried to comfort him- and although that may be the worst thing ever? At least she wasn't staring at me like I was some unruly parent. The last kind soul actually asked me if my son had Autism, informed me that her nephew did, and proceeded to tell me to ignore all the ignorant people, to keep up the fight, stick to my guns because Autism or not- dedicated parents raise the best kind of kids.
All these people warmed my heart and made my day- You might not think it sounds like much? But it was A LOT- it was what I was able to focus on. In the beginning of this journey- I had a similar experience- only people weren't nearly as nice- I spent 5 hours bawling when I got home- and 3 days not wanting to talk to anyone. So yeah- a few kind words can make all the difference in the world.
Be kind, show love and if you are really interested in making a difference- educate yourself- because then? You actually will know what Autism is when you hear the word- even if you don't love or know someone on the spectrum.
Check out this awesome video made by Carly Fleischmann, a young woman who is non-verbal and lives with Autism. It's a great insight into what it is like for those who live with Autism.
An inspirational blog written by a woman who truly can attest to coming back from the darkest life has to offer. Not Autism related, but will remind you that we all have our different struggles, and this woman will make you smile no matter what kind of day you are having.
A page ran by "Al & Logan", where neither dudebags nor motherfeathers are welcomed. Al, Mother to Logan writes about her journey raising her special needs child Logan who just turned 18. She is a shining example of how to make the absolute most with any hand you are dealt. Logan & Al raise a lot of money for charities each year. How? Head over to her page and ask about Slombies!
By far the most educational resource I have ran across in Facebook land. Bill, who runs the page is going to be writing a book (Thank The Heavens) - as I can't keep trying to organize his statuses so I can come back to them- they are all so incredibly informative! Whether you have an ASD yourself, or you are in a relationship with someone who has an ASD, or if you are raising a child with an ASD- this guy's page is like FREE THERAPY.
Follow Carly as she gives voices to those who have no voice. Her story is an incredible inspiration and reminds us that anything is possible. Our children have thoughts, feelings, and many emotions even if they can't appropriately express them. I always tell parents, if you REALLY want to know how to help your child- ask an adult with Autism.