Sunday, December 30, 2007

Autism Predictions 2008

These are my autism predictions for 2008. Some are wildly speculative; some are ho hum continuations of existing trends. Like all attempts to "predict" the future they are inherently futile but I will make them anyway.

1. The Autism Knowledge Revolution will continue to expand and add to our real knowledge of autism disorders. 2007 saw a breathtaking explosion of research into the neurolgoical bases and structures of autism disorders. That trend will continue and the public will be informed less and less by prejudice and ideology and more and more by actual knowledge of what autism disorders are and how they can be treated. Research will also continue into possible environmental contributors to the rise of autism diagnoses.

2. In Canada the federal government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper will continue to ignore, thereby contributing to the worsening of , Canada's autism crisis just as it has helped sabotage international efforts to address the global warming crisis. (No this years return of a traditional Canadian winter does not offset the measurable reality that the polar ice caps are shrinking. In the North the warming is wrecking havoc on the Arctic environment and impairing the traditional Inuit way of life). Canada's National Autism Strategy will remain a joke as long as Stephen Harper remains as Prime Minister of Canada.

3. The stigma attached to intellectually impaired autistic persons will continue. Intellectually impaired autistic persons will remain invisible to the eyes of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN and other major media organizations and stars who seek out autistic persons to portray for public consumption. And the Neurodiversity bloggers who like to portray historical geniuses such as Einstein as autistic will continue to deny the existence of the the many intellectually impaired autistic persons.

4. Ignorance about autism will continue. Autistic children in both Canada and the United States will still be sent home from public schools because "educators" are not educated about the realities of autism disorders. And some autistic youths will continue to be charged as criminals for behavior resulting from their autism disorders.

5. Autism reality will assert itself daily as lower functioning persons with autism move from the care of their families to residential and institutional settings where they will begin their lives in the care of strangers.

6. Some autistic persons such as Dr. Temple Grandin will continue to shine as role models for persons with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism.

7. Parents will continue to fight for their children with Autism Disorders. They will continue to educate, treat and care for their autistic children while hoping that the Autism Knowledge Revolution soon finds a cure for their children's Disorders. They will do so because they love their children - not their children's neurological disorders.

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