I have noticed recently that my inbox is flooded with reports, studies, research and what-have-you concerning the growing rate of autism. Most of these studies are out to debunk the idea that this pervasive developmental disorder is not an “epidemic”. It just so happens that diagnoses nowadays are more reliable and efficient to the point of being advanced. Children as young as a few months can even be diagnosed using tech-savvy systems never before imagined.
But what do these reports and studies are really trying to expose? Are these people helping the autism communities who are struggling to meet their autistic kids’ needs for better services? Let’s say there is some truth to autism not an epidemic, now what? Can they show us the underlying cause of the disorder? Do they have foolproof treatment that can completely cure these children and adults who, in their daily lives, are struggling to be accepted in a society that is so easy to shun away from the not-so-ordinary?
I have nothing against reports and studies like this but when it offers nothing but yet, another dead-end, that’s when I get really disappointed. We need more experts and professionals who can clearly draw the line on what causes the disorder and how it can be either prevented or cured. If there is no cure, present us with new alternative treatment then. When one presents a problem, a solution is always necessary. Saying that it is not an epidemic amid the increasing rate of children being diagnosed and, offering no clue whatsoever on how it came to be is truly disturbing.
There are so many things going on with autism. From vaccines to diabetes to environmental concerns, the list of possible causes can make one’s head spin. Add to the pile the seemingly worsening state of accepting such disorder as something commonplace in the society. Yesterday, I was reading this news about a man who was targeted just because he has autism and, it broke my heart into tiny little pieces. I cannot fathom what the family must have felt to hear such horrible findings from the police. I have no strength to grasp such an idea if it happens to my son.
We are at a crossroads where autism is indeed increasing at a steady and alarming rate. Many nations have also opened its doors in recognizing that such a disorder has become a rampant issue and with these individuals safety at stake, a collective effort must be done to guarantee that they be studied, understood, and embraced.
Saying that it should not be a cause of worry because it is not considered an epidemic is akin to telling people that “It’s okay to swim as there is only a single shark in the water.” Epidemic or not, experts should double their efforts in finding answers instead of throwing more questions. Instead of sending us mixed signals, perhaps, it is high time for them to gather their heads together and help solve this baffling disorder. Enlighten us, pretty please. This cloak of mystery can sometimes feel suffocating.