Last March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped a bomb going into April’s Autism Awareness celebration: the incidence of autism is now one in 88 children. That is a 23 percent increase since 2009, and even more significantly, a 78 percent since a decade ago.
Today there are almost 1 million children in our country with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The question everyone is asking is: “What is going on?” Is the dramatic increase of autism due to improved diagnostic abilities? Is it genetic? Is it environmental? Is it tied to vaccines? There really is no answer to that burning question, and while some progress has been made, we have a long way to go before we know the answer.
What we can say for sure is there has never been more of a need for “Autism Awareness.”