The Centers for Disease Control released a report today that indicated that 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. 1 in 88. That is a staggering statistic. And it is probably a low number considering it was reached by surveying only those individuals that are receiving services. Kaitlyn, like a lot of high functioning autistics/aspies (at least I imagine this is the case), does not receive any specialized services and would not count toward that figure.
The new diagnosis figure represents a 78 percent increase in just five years. Some of this has to do with doctors having a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and also with improved testing and evaluation methods. I wonder what the figure would be if more doctors chose to not be lazy and settle for an ADD or ADHD diagnosis instead of further testing to determine possible ASD.
If you read these entries on a regular basis, you may have been wondering why I have been so persistent (click here or here or here) about World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) and Autism Awareness Month (April). That number is why. The more awareness that is out there, the better it is for people with ASD and the ones who care for them and love them. Awareness increases education, and education increases knowledge.
If you have not purchased your blue light bulbs for April 2, please go to Home Depot this weekend and do so. And I promise, you can use them for the whole month of April and all year if you want. Just think, you might get a chance to educate someone when they knock on your door to ask you about your blue light.