The CDC has released its latest numbers on autism. Now we know that 1 in 68 children have an autism diagnosis compared to the 1 in 88 of the past.
The report also indicates that boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, but in various reports I've been reading this could be simply because the symptoms in boys are more prominent and also because professionals have been trained to look for it more often in boys than in girls. I believe we will see autism diagnosis equalize between genders as the years go on.
This clip features my friend Kim from NJ with her lovely daughter Ava. Kim was one of my own first supporters when we received the autism diagnosis on Angel and Princess triplets. In fact, without knowing Kim and her story, I don't know if I would have finally pushed to discover the real issues in our own daughters.
The report also indicates that once you know, you can get early intervention. Oh if that were only true for everyone. Certainly, I support early diagnosis. Certainly, I support early intervention. I guess I just want to bring to people's attention that whether or not you get the type of intervention you really need depends on more than just the diagnosis. It depends on your insurance. It depends on your state. It depends on your school district. It depends on your income level. It depends on how adept you are at finding, applying for and being awarded available grants. It depends on how determined you are to work with what's available until you can obtain what's actually needed. It depends on how easily you accept the following answers relative to your child: "No," "Not now," "We don't have those kind of resources available," "Since you're self-pay we can only...," "I'm sorry, but" and the list goes on and on and on and on.
If you have any concerns about your child, I strongly suggest you seek out answers as soon as possible. However, you need to be ready to fight for your child and his/her needs from the beginning. An autism diagnosis is great and in some places, that's all you need to make sure you get the needed services. In most it's really not. Dig, research, talk to parents and never allow yourself to believe that one professional knows all the answers. Don't allow yourself to remain in denial or fear for very long. When you have a child with autism, you may need to be much more than just a parent. Your roles will also include therapist and advocate. Get used to it, that may not change for years.