In the last 19 years there has a been an
explosion of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses.
This has opened up concerns in the medical community,
as well as society as a whole
Today 1 in 100 children are diagnosed as ASD.
Most people know someone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder
whereas 20 years ago it wasn't as commonplace.
Surely doctors MUST be over-diagnosing, right?
The explosion of diagnoses is due to the fact that in 1993
the definition of Autism was expanded to
include not only non-verbal, low-functioning kids,
but also high-functioning children who may seem normal in some ways,
but their parents and teachers know better.
They have strange obsessions with things,
speak very formally and have a large vocabulary,
they are very intelligent, but often don't do well in school,
they are easily distracted, and yet can spend hours doing something
if they are really interested in it,
and sadly, they have very few friends.
The expansion of the definition of ASD means
that millions of kids are able to get resources to help them
It means that parents are getting information and resources to help
cope with their children's unusual behavior patterns.
It has also given the general public an awareness that
there is often a reason WHY some kids seem
strange or "off-beat".
However, Autism Spectrum Disorder
is about to have a new definition.
Millions of children who are getting resources now
will not be able to receive them under the new definition.
Who came up with this plan?!
By changing the definition will these "off-beat" children
suddenly act "normal"?
Will they begin to succeed in school without
resources or modifications?
Will ignoring their differences make them go away?!
The REASON why it is so vital to diagnose these children
early is because then they're able to get the
tools and resources
they need to
succeed in life,
not just in school.
We're not just talking about getting an A+
on their spelling tests because modifications were made.
We're talking about teaching these kids
that are crucial for their survival in the work force.
We're talking about having resources and tools to
teach them how to adapt
to different environments
and to not be so
so that they can be loving
husbands and fathers,
and great employees.
We're talking about teaching them how to be
productive members of society
and how to use their strengths
to be successful in life, rather than
allowing their deficiencies
steal their potential!
So, this Momma of a child with ASD is very
upset, and very concerned about these changes.
Very concerned indeed.