Thursday, October 8, 2009

1 in 100?

1 in 100 children now have autism.  Yes. 1 in 100 children have autism. That's 1 % of all American children have some sort of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  In 1996, the number was 1 in 10,000.  1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100 in less than 15 years.

Nathan is about 15 months old here. Maybe a little older. This is about the time when the changes began in him.

I don't know how his Asperger's came to be. I think back to my family history. My mercury laden fillings in my mouth since I was 8 years old. My exposure to probably a bazillion and one VOC's, hydrofluorocarbons (Aquanet and I have a LONG history. I'm better now), asbestos (I went to schools that were probably infested with the stuff), lead paint (my house probably had it and I know I ate the lead paint off of those McDonald's glasses back in the 70's. Grimace DID NOT taste like grape.) thimerosal in vaccines that I was given and perhaps even Nathan was given. Bisphenol A. The list goes on. And then there is my family psychological history. My mother's battle with anxiety. My laundry list of anxiety related issues and quirky behavior. Nathan's father's OCD. It's a melange of things that may have caused it.

But, it doesn't matter HOW it happened. That I cannot change. And I do not want to alter or "cure" him. He's pretty awesome as he is, thank you. I just want to know why. I want to prevent it from happening in the future. Autism is something you live and deal with for the rest of your life. It's draining and exhausting. It can ruin marriages and relationships and make people completely destitute.  The government also says that the lifetime cost of caring with someone with Autism (and I'm assuming it's low functioning Autism, the article only specifies a child born in 2000 and diagnosed in 2003) is 3.2 million dollars.

And nobody can tell us why. Nobody wants to take responsibility or blame. Why can't Autism have an Erin Brockovich like heroine come in and discover what the heck is going on? We deserve to know as do our children.


  1. I was asking myself all of these questions lately. My family is sort of plagued with ADD/ADHD, Austim and Asperger's. I've watched my brother go in and out of jail and seen my step mother's face filled with worry over my younger brother who has Asperger's. I just was sitting around wanting an answer. A real one. It wasn't about changing it just knowing why. It's all tiring even for a sister but you love them more than words. Thanks

  2. @Laura: You are most welcome. I don't know if I'll ever get an answer and I know I may never know in my lifetime. I will not let that prevent me from supporting and advocating for my son and letting him be who he is. They need all the love we can give them.