April 2, 2007

1 out of 150 kids? Really?

So I kept reading that 1 out of 150 kids suffers from a "autism spectrum disorder." I didn't believe it. It sounded like the kind of statistics that parents make up to advocate for their kids. I did some research. I avoided any sites that were run by advocates. I stuck to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health. First, NIH said 1 out of 1000 kids. Then another NIH website said 3 out of 1000. That's a big difference. Finally, yet another NIH website said -- for accurate prevalence statistics go the CDC. I did. CDC's conclusion? 1 out of 150! I trust the CDC. Good grief. I was so hoping I was wrong. Since boys are more likely to suffer from an autism spectrum disorder than girls, that's a LOT of boys. It's a lot of girls, too, but it is a HUGE number of boys. So I thought about my office. About 75 lawyers. I can think of 10 lawyers with SONS with some type of developmental disorder serious enough to affect their education and their future. That's just based on hallway chit chat. I can think of one lawyer with a daughter with similar issues. That's 11 kids out of 75 families! Totally unscientific, but interesting nonetheless. Of course, lawyers are trained to advocate for just about anything, anytime, but we are especially good at advocating for our kids. Even so, these aren't trifling situations. We aren't talking about kids who forget their books at school. . . . What the heck is going on with our kids??? Is it better detection or is something else going on? I have no clue. And, We won't know unless we make an enormous effort to find out. That takes money and muscle. If you want to learn more, you can start by checking out Erika Martin's stamping blog and blog about her son Zach. ****** I stamped almost all day yesterday. I have a very expensive pile of scrap paper to show for it. I know that most of you understand. Some days you got your mojo, some days you don't.


  1. hey, did you know 1 out of 90 boys are diagnosed!! I had no idea. I read something and saw a documentary on it last week.... the numbers are staggering. This morning they were talking that if your child- especially a boy- can't answer to his name by age one that is a sign to get him checked out. Why are the numbers growing? what is happening in our society that the numbers are multiplying??? it is interesting...

  2. The diagnoses of Autism covers a variety of disorders. I think that's why the numbers are so high. My son is diagnosed with an autism disorder. He actually has PDD (pervasive developmental delay). Aspbergers is another Autism disorder. For my son, he's got the intelligence of his age but socially he is 4 (he's 10 years old). Basically, he gets teased quite a bit because he doesn't pick up on social ques and he behaves like a 4 yr. old in a lot of situations. He's considered high functioning but still has a diagnoses of autism. The range of autism is huge.

  3. In Vermont, our numbers are 1 in every 133 children. Completely staggering!

    Thank you for continuing to make people aware, Joan! it's a HUGE first step!

  4. Wow that is a scary statistic!

    Thanks for helping some of us "non aware" people to become "more aware".

    BTW Joan this is *really* off topic, but what is your favorite color? I may have missed it in a previous post - I apologize!

  5. I'm an inclusion teacher (that means I teach a regular ed. 2nd grade class that has full time special needs students) with 3 students on the spectrum. I read a blog that you can find at clubmom by a mother with a young boy with autism. It's really quite fascinating. She gives a very interesting perspective.

    One point she has brought up is the difference between the diagnosis of boys and girls with autism. You mentioned that boys are diagnosed more often. Is it perhaps because, by nature, their behaviors are more anti-social (I mean that in the most gentle way...I don't want to ruffle any feathers, I promise) and girls tend to withdraw or have behaviors that are more subtle? At my school, we've only had two girls diagnosed with ASD. One was almost non-verbal, but very, very, very bright. Her behaviors included oral stimming and rocking. Her brother (one year older a slightly more "severe" than she was) has behaviors that were more "boyish" in nature--noises and jerks, etc.

    This makes me think...Just wanted to share.

    Thanks for bringing this up for everyone...

  6. ThOSE statistics are simply HORRIFIC!