Friday, April 09, 2010

Children's Crusade

April is National Autism Month. I've already missed the actual Awareness Day, which was a week ago. My bad.

I'm not as much of an advocate for Autism as I should be. As I stated a year ago, one of my nephews has it and one of my best friend's son has it as well. It's tough - all the way around.

A few years ago, they said one in every 162 kids has Autism. The official associations are now saying one in every 110!!!

Last year there were over 4.2 million live births in the U.S. That would mean, if the stats hold true, around 462,000 kids in 2009 were born with Autism. I'm sorry, but that is staggering.

What is more staggering is that most insurance plans do not cover therapy for these kids. My sister took over when her son was diagnosed and got the state to provide six hours of in-home therapy a day! Occupational, Speech and Behavioral. Max is pretty well adjusted and socialized. I don't know if clinically he's considered high functioning, but he's cute as hell - and so fricking loving, he's just a great kid. Most of that is due to his mother.

Most moms don't have that kind of time or energy. Or there might not be these kind of services in each state, or even in their state at this point due to budgets. But there should be some kind of national initiative. But there isn't. Not yet.

Song by: Sting

1 comment:

Birdie said...

At my church we have just formed a special needs ministry to address the needs of our congregation. Except for one child w/Down Syndrome and a host of other issues, our greatest challenge is autism: we have at least one child in every level up through fifth grade and beyond. Most are very high functioning, but the spectrum is huge and each child is very different in their expression and needs.

People simply need to be aware of what autism is and that it's not a scary thing. For the most part, autism is simply a different way of thinking. Many people have aspects that are so minimal that they are mistaken for personality quirks. That's okay. We are recognizing its symptoms more these days, hence the rise in statistics.

Those parents dealing with severe or even moderate symptoms in their children have my great respect for the time and effort required to "mainstream" their children. Thanks for writing about it.