HANDLEY: I want to talk about this issue of autism prevalence. It's going to be shocking for parents to learn that the CDC and the AAP don't actually acknowledge that there's been a real rise in autism cases. Larry, the Department of Education in 1992, 16,000 kids were getting autism services. Today 225,000. That means in 1992, they were missing 93 percent of kids with autism. Where are all the adults with autism? They don't exist.These numbers are real. But if you never acknowledge there's been a real rise, you don't have to find an environmental agent that caused it.
Mr. Handley, if you would like to take some time, I would love to introduce you to some adults with Autism...
In 1971, I had my first job...I was hired to babysit a family with a 3 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. The 3 year old boy had severe autism. He rocked, he flapped and he was non-verbal. He would now be 41 years old.
In 1982, I worked in a residential treatment center. The dorms I worked on had teenage boys and girls, initially diagnosed with Mental Retardation and then later, the Autism diagnosis was added.
These teenagers would now be in their late 30's and early 40's.
When the residential treatment center closed, they were sent home to find other facilities or in group homes....
In my neighborhood alone, there are 4 group homes that house 7 autistic adults in each home..that is 28 adults with Autism in my neighborhood alone...not including my child who is now an adult with Autism.
Mr. Handley, you singlehandedly have discarded a very large community of people living and working in our community. I believe you don't see it because you don't want to.
If you admit there are actually adults out in the world with autism, your little conspiracy will be shot down. All of the propaganda you spew at your sites will be discredited.
A mother writes on AgeOfAutism...
Mr. Handley discredits families of adult children with autism! He stated tonight on the show that there are no adults with autism! Shame of you for spreading your lack of knowledge. My son is 26 years old and has a diagnosis of autism. And shame on you for ignoring the years of hell our family and others like us has endured. When he was diagnosed 22 years ago, the criteria was so narrow that only the most severe could fit that label. Although my son was severe, they would not label his as having autism, but only "characteristics". Many children had autism back then, but were labeled MR! Go to the instituions and you will see the truly autistic adults that were mislabeled MR and mentally ill.22 years ago, I started reading about the MMR link; then the mercury link; now the huge vaccination link since you can no longer blame the MMR. Well, when my son was vaccinated beginning in 1983, there were less than 10 vaccines in the schedule. And guess what??? He is still autistic as are all of his former (now adult) classmates!
This was a response from a parent who is trying to discredit the mother who wrote the above letter to AoA...Nice huh?
Also, to Fonda Watson: If you are indeed a parent to a child 26 years old, I can relate as my child was born before the epidemic numbers, but right when the increase in thimerosal took place and the numbers did start to increase (1993).
How though, did you 22 years ago (1987) start "reading about the MMR link; then the mercury link; now the huge vaccination link since you can no longer blame the MMR." I'm sorry but that is just not accurate. You could not have investigated as no one knew that vaccines or environmental factors (mercury) were the cause of autism in 1987.
Ms. Conrick, if you are indeed a parent of a child with autism, how come it is so easy for
you to discredit a mother who has far more experience than you in living with an autistic
This is the reason my blood is boiling right now....
I am amazed by the hatefulness that is spewed to the parent's who have lived
with a child with autism for over 20 years.
We have so much to learn from these mother's, but instead,
the mother's of younger children with autism want to call them liars.
The comment looks very similar to an Anonymous comment left on my blog
If you do work hard to help them, than that is admirable. If they are, in fact, doing so well in school, then I'm really happy to hear it. I do not for any child to struggle with Autism, regardless of whether or not I agree with their parents methods.
Of course, people who comment anonymously are really not to sure of their own
convictions, are they?
My hope is, since Mr. Handley so callously made this comment on television, that
every parent of an adult child with autism..or an adult with autism..comes forward and
lets him know they are here, they have been here, and they are tired of being ignored.
I will gladly represent those whose voices you are trying to silence...
I recently had a conversation with a 23-year-old male with autism. I asked him
what he would like to do with his life...he has one simple request...
"He wants more services for adults with Autism".."he wants to take college courses,
get a better job than cleaning tables at a local restaurant, and he wants speech therapy
past the age of 22 years old...."
I do not think that is too much to ask....
So, instead of saying the adults with autism do not exist...why don't we acknowledge they
do exist and make their lives accountable?
- I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.
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