Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rise in Rates of Children on the Autistic Spectrum

CBS News has a report out here that a recent survey shows that fifty percent of school-aged children fall on the autistic spectrum.  It's really a stunning, frightening figure.  I found even more frightening some of the comments on the article.  Here is a quote from the worst one so far:  

"What do you expect from your child if you are too busy interacting with yourself on FB, smartphones, being online and don't forget the "must see" reality show or big game. Some speech delays or social difficulties are a direct result of parental ignorance in what a child needs during the very formative years from birth to 4 years old. Get with it mom and dad, turn off the electronics and read to your kid; talk to your kid; play with your kid."

I had to respond to it:

I am stunned by the cruelty and ignorance of your response.  I have taught children with autism and known their parents.  Their parents are loving, supportive—and often exhausted—wonderful people. 

There was a theory over sixty years ago that autistic children were produced by “refrigerator parents.”  That theory has been completely disproven.  Completely!  Parents of autistic children are no more to “blame” for their condition than are parents of children with diabetes or cancer. 

To fling that kind of hurtful rhetoric around when you clearly have done no research, nor have had any contact with the autistic community, is really unforgivable.  

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