I have two children. One aged ten and one aged six. According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the chances of having my grand children with autism will be 1:2. (See report by Autism Daily Newscast here.)
It’s quite a revelation, go back ten years to 2004, the prevalence rates for children born with autism were 1:250, today they stand at 1:66. But more than just the sharp rise in rates, these children become adults, who in turn mature to become an older generation with autism. What provisions have governments made for what seems like an inevitable rise in the forthcoming ten years?
It worries me as a parent. It took me almost three years to get a diagnosis. Being told my son had a language disorder to begin with (it was the same drill with my daughter who has dyslexia). Although they didn’t think it was bad enough to warrant early intervention and speech therapy. Knocking my head against a metaphorical brick wall, and following the same patterns as I had with my daughter, being shunted from pillar to post until I found one sympathetic ear who was able to identify the problem.
Others are diagnosed quickly, but especially in the UK there is no contingency for diagnosing autism which is country wide. It’s a post code (Zip code) lottery, where some children can be identified as early at 18 months, and others will not be identified until they are adults particularly if they are female. I found a lot of the time education establishments were reticent to put their opinions on giving a child a label, support agencies then were called in and there was a very ad hoc “let’s try this and see if it works, and if it doesn’t we can always try something along the same lines but a little bit different.”
This of course is my own experience others may disagree.
What worries me the most is, if governments both in the US and the UK know that Autism is a growing phenomenon why are they not doing more in terms of independent living and adult care for a generation of autistic children. What are they doing about employment? Training? Even facilities for elderly inpatients with autism? What becomes of the new generation, when the old cannot and have not provided for them?