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Home / Breaking News / Just Released, CDC Reported 1 in 68 Children Now Affected By Autism

Just Released, CDC Reported 1 in 68 Children Now Affected By Autism

This week, the CDC announced the current autism prevalence rates — now 1 in 68 children. Next week will bring the start of another media-drenching Autism Awareness Month. So, right now, I’m bracing myself for the probable onslaught of the kinds of news reports and opinion pieces that make me cringe — the ones that use pejorative words like “crisis” and “epidemic”; the ones that suggest that my child and my life are problems to be solved.

Yes, 1 in 68 is a staggering number. When my son Bud was diagnosed in 2003, the rate was 1 in 250. A few months later, it changed to 1 in 166, and it has increased steadily since then.

1 in 68 is a powerful soundbite. It’s a startling statistic. That’s why it’s so important — so critical — to remember, when we quote the statistic, that each of those “ones” in 68 is a full, whole, wonderful, valuable person, filled with gifts and potential and talent.

1 in 68 does not mean that autism is an enemy that needs to be conquered.

1 in 68 means that we need educational systems that truly meet the needs of a population that learns differently.

1 in 68 means we need to provide better access to health care, treatments and services for those who do not currently have that access.

1 in 68 means we need to act thoughtfully and consciously to create a world in which our differently-wired children are understood, accepted and valued, and in which they have the services and supports they need to live full, rich, meaningful adult lives.

This is my 1 in 68. In the coming weeks, if you find yourself barraged by doom and gloom reports in the popular press, think of him. He is neither a problem nor a crisis. He’s a full, whole, wonderful, valuable person.

And there are a whole lot of other kids out there who are just like him.

About Dr. John Carosso

Dr. Carosso’s experience in the mental health field dates back to over twenty-five years in a number of capacities including as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and School Psychologist. He has worked in private, school-based, inpatient, residential, and in-home settings. His specialization is in the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of children and teenagers and, in that regard, he has conducted literally tens of thousands of evaluations with children, and families, of all walks of life.

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