Saturday, November 17, 2012

Autism Is An Epidemic: Time To Stop Pretending Otherwise

Autism Speaks, commenting on and citing an article  from the Boston Globe,  reports that American Academy of Pediatrics President Elect James Perrin, M.D., F.A.A.P., has called autism an epidemic:

"James Perrin, M.D., F.A.A.P., president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), called autism and other developmental disorders one of the major epidemics facing U.S. children. Dr. Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, directs the Clinical Coordinating Center of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). 

He also leads the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P), a federally funded program built on the ATN. “Childhood obesity and other chronic health conditions: The continuing growth in childhood asthma and the tremendous growth in mental health conditions and developmental conditions like autism. We’ve got three or four major epidemics really growing among children and adolescents in America,” Dr. Perrin told the Boston Globe in a special interview."

I applaud Dr. Perrin for having the common sense, the good conscience  and the courage to speak the obvious truth.  Since my son's autistic disorder diagnosis 14 years ago at age 2 the CDC estimated prevalence of autism has moved from 1 in 250 to 1 in 88.  The 1994 DSM changes/increased awareness excuses which undoubtedly explain PART of the increases are trotted out with each change in the estimates as being FULLY  explanatory of the increases, without any convincing evidence in support of their statements of belief.   Many of us who raise, love and care for the children who are part of this epidemic are not drinking the kool-aid of the epidemic deniers.  Dr. Perrin will probably be vilified by "experts", including some with Neurodiversity ideological perspectives, who routinely mock those who dare state the obvious.  There is an autism epidemic.  Autism is rising. Thank you for speaking up Dr. Perrin.

Autism is an epidemic. It is time we all faced that reality. 

1 comment:

SCG said...

When my cousin was diagnosed 31 years ago... autism was rare, or so we thought, and it took doctors from Montreal to make the diagnosis. Today, autism is much more widely understood and the definition has expanded to include many more symptoms and degrees of disability. In my opinion, I don't know if I would use the word epidemic, but it sure is tempting.