Mar 24, 2007

I am NOT a National Emergency

It still bugs me that the National Autism Association (NAA) is calling for the CDC to declare Autsim a national emergency. What are the implications of a national emergency? Rates of diagnosis have jumped, I grant you. What isn't being discussed is any assessmnet of unreported or undiagnosed cases. Asperger Syndrome was largely undiagnosed until recently. I was never diagnosed. I got no real special services as a child. I just struggled through. I new other nerdy people like me who loved books and didn't fit in to the popular mainstream. None of us were diagnosed.

Now I am a parent, and I didn't expect my children to just muddle through nor did I assume that my child's struggles were just part of his personality. My wife and I studied and searched and consulted our physician. Our searches led us to Asperger Syndrome (AS). NAA needs to do some kind of assessment of how many of the newly diagnosed children have parents with Asperger or a subset of the Asperger symptomology.

Better to dianose a child at age four, so that child can devote a large bulk of time to sensory integration training, social skills training and other assistance. They will have to adopt a special diet that eliminates foods to which they are intollerant. However as that child makes his/her way through school, they will have an easier and much more typical experience.

Don't you wonder how many of the geeks, freeks and nerds who sat on the periphery of the popular culture as loners . . . how many of them are Aspies?

Doesn't a national emergency imply an attack on our nation. Isn't a national emergency a threat to our economy, stability, or national security? Early intervention is critical. Advances in intervention is crucial. Elimination is wrong. I have so much to offer, because I am an Aspie. Great care must be taken not to eliminate our unique culture in the name of curing our dysfunctions or delayed abilities.

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