Tag Archives | diagnosis

I have Aspergers – Part 3: Life after an autism diagnosis

For more on this series, go back and read part 1: who I am and part 2: getting the diagnosis.

In the middle of my 3+ hour assessment, the doctor took a moment apart from the testing and asked me “so what exactly is it that you’re hoping to get out of this? What are you hoping will happen if you are diagnosed with autism?”

I swear to you, with no exaggeration, I had rehearsed answering that question in my head at least a dozen times prior to going into that assessment but the moment it came out of his mouth… I didn’t have an answer.


Up until the doctor had asked me the question, out loud, I had always assumed that nothing would change. That I really only wanted the diagnosis for my own curiosity, to answer questions I’ve had and to maybe help me with my own identity. Not just for myself but for where I stand in the autism community.

But when he asked me… even though I heard the specific words… my mind told me that he had actually said “what do you expect to change?”

And I had nothing.

I’m a grown up now. I don’t change. I have always been how I am. I always will be.

A doctor telling me I have autism certainly wasn’t going to change that.

In fact, if anything… it was going to cement it!

If I am how I am because it’s a part of who I am… do I even have the choice to change it?

I thought about my son, Cameron, who’s been diagnosed with autism for 3 years now… take social gatherings as just one example. I know full well that he will never ever enjoy social gatherings, much less want to go to them. I know that he is going to have to if he is to learn to cope.. but that being who he is… he’ll never actually want to go.

And I can’t change that no matter what I could try or how much I could want to. It’s who he is.

If I come to accept that in my son, that there are just some things that won’t and can’t change for him, I would have to do the same for myself.

Line of thinking

So I get to wondering why I heard a very different (yet kinda similar) question in my head than what actually came out of the doctor’s mouth and I start to wonder why I am so concerned about whether or not I could change even if I wanted to.

My wife accepts me for who I am. I mean, she married me… she must. But even more so since we came to the realization that autism would explain a lot about me. Far more, even still, since I got my official diagnosis and confirmed everything.

Still though… a part of me doesn’t want her to. She shouldn’t have to accept that I won’t change for her. Wait, let me rephrase that…

She and I have come to accept that our child will always be who he is, not just because of who he is but because autism kind of enforces that more so. He’ll never like some things, he’ll always obsess over other things, he’ll prioritize things differently than most people might… we want to help him with these things but accept that it’s just how and who he is.

I love and cherish my wife for being willing to do the same thing for me but I really don’t want her to have to do that. A marriage isn’t about one person doing all the changing while the other does not, whether due to a disorder or not. It’s supposed to be a compromise and a team effort.

The diagnosis really hasn’t changed anything… not yet. And while I feel like it should have given me every excuse I would ever need to not even try to change anything… it has actually done the opposite.

No, I don’t expect that I’ll ever enjoy social gatherings or anything that I’ve never enjoyed in all my years thus far… but still, I want to do better than just “cope”. I want to prioritize differently. I want to do better.

The wonderfully unexpected outcome

One could argue that a strong desire to make my marriage work even better than it did before is the best one could hope for from getting a disorder diagnosis… but actually, it’s not the best part.

The day that I received my diagnosis, I had my son Cameron sit down after school so that I could tell him the news.

I asked him “Cameron… who in our family has autism?”

He replied “Me.”

I said “Well, I talked to the doctor today and found out something new… you’re not the only one in our family that has autism.”

He looked at me said “You have autism now too?”

I told him “Well, I think I always did but now I know for sure. So now I know, and you know, that you’re not the only one with autism.”

He kept his head down as he played with his toys.

I asked him “So? How does that make you feel?”

He said “good” and left to play.

A couple of days later, while the four of us (myself, my wife, Cameron and his little brother Tyler) went swimming at the local pool, Cameron and I were off by ourselves and he said, “Dad, you know why you and me are the same and Tyler and mom are different?”

I said “No, why?”

He said “Because we have autism!”

Since that day, he’s been quite excited about how he and I are the same… and to be honest, so have I.

When I think about the future he has ahead of him, the great times and the struggles that I know he’ll have… I know now that I’ll be able to help him in a way that I never could have before.

I mean, I’m still me. It’s not like the diagnosis gave me Aspergers. I had it before hand. But now? Now that I know it and now that he knows it… he’ll know that I understand what he’s going through.

He’ll know that he can talk to me about just about anything without worrying that I’ll think he’s weird, or strange or.. what ever.

What ever may come, I’ll be there for him. And he knows it.

He’s already a lot happier. He already feels less alone.

That alone makes the diagnosis… no, it makes my entire life worth it.

going forwardGoing forward

Everyone handles news differently, and life situations, goals, stresses… well, you get the idea. So I don’t expect that anyone else would receive an autism diagnosis and feel motivated to change. In fact, if I was to guess, I’d imagine not many have that same reaction.

But that’s part of the beauty of the diagnosis, I think. You never really know how it will affect you until after it does.

You can practice the things you’ll say and prepare for how you want to feel about it… but you just won’t know until after the fact.

And it’s true, doctors could get your diagnosis wrong just as easily as you could have gotten wrong yourself. So no, it’s not a guarantee… maybe I was sure, maybe the doctor is sure… and yet, maybe I still don’t actually have Aspergers. Seems odd to think about, doesn’t it? It seems odd to say it… or write it.

Still though, as much as life has no guarantees for you and there will always still be some margin of doubt… it’s still very relieving be officially diagnosed with Aspergers.

Which is odd.

Think about it.

A doctor has just told you that you have a disorder… that you fit the criteria somewhere in their big book of “things wrong with some people” and you feel relieved by it.

It’s also weird to think that, my entire experience with autism and the autism community has been through my son. I write about him, I experience autism through him, I learn about autism from him… and yet, now, with a single line on a piece of paper… I realize that my entire experience with autism was actually in fact… my own entire life… and I didn’t even know it.

Well, ok, I sort of knew it, or suspected it, for a couple of years there, most recently… but you get the idea.

The point is, it’s a relief. Because I know what I’m dealing with now. I know what I’ve always been dealing with only… I didn’t really know I was dealing with it. To me, life was always just… hard.

Which brings me to my final thought…


I know this young woman who’s whole life has revolved around her. She wouldn’t even let having a child at a young age interfere with that. She partied all the time, was only concerned about what her circle of friends thought about her, neglected her family, neglected her schooling, work and other responsibilities, she felt she needed to just do what ever she wanted to do and not care about anything else.

But then, not too long later, I noticed that she was starting to ask a lot of questions such as “why is life so hard?” and “why does everything have to suck for me so much” and “what did I do for all this crap to happen to me?”

I shook my head. I really did. Loudly. You’re trying to picture that right now, aren’t you?

Since getting my diagnosis, I’ve taken a long look at my life… there’s been a lot of unhappiness. There’s been a lot of discomfort. To be honest, I’ve asked a lot of the same questions. Why is life so hard? Why does the universe seem to hate me so much? Why does nothing ever seem to go my way?

But you know what? I finished college. I have been a web developer for over 12 years now and done well. I have a beautiful wife, two great kids and a roof over our heads.

I’ve made something of my life… despite, what I know now, is something very very real. A very definite hurdle that gave me a very real reason to ask… why me? Why is it so hard? Turns out there really was a reason.

One thing this diagnosis has done for me, as cruel as it sounds, is that it’s made me want to sit down with that young lady, put my elbow on the table and my chin in my hand, tilt my head sideways and say to her “Life is hard huh? Nothing goes the way you want it too huh? Please, tell me all about how hard it is for you, party girl.”

Because a few years ago, I’d still shake my head at her but I’d sympathize because my life was hard too. Sure, I know it’s because she’s done it to herself, where as I did not. But I didn’t know why life was hard for me at the time.

But now? Now that I know what I was actually up against that whole time? In comparison to her doing anything she wanted and yet complaining that she can’t do anything she wants??

Yes, I’m feeling a little… I don’t even know what you’d call it.

See, I don’t want to “smack some sense into her” so to speak (I’m not voilent so please take that as the figure of speech that it is), but rather, I’d really like to use what I’ve learned to help her see just how good she’s really had it all this time.

I’d really like for her to see that her biggest hurdle isn’t something that she can’t identify… it’s her. Her choices. And that she has the potential to do just as well, in fact, far far better than I have, if only she could see that.

If I could overcome what I didn’t even recognize, then she can certainly do better when she doesn’t have that to deal with.

All this is to say… I just want to help. I feel this diagnosis isn’t about me. It’s about that young woman. It’s about my son. It’s about my wife. It’s about anyone who reads what I write, looking for answers or inspiration.

Before, I’d say that the one with Aspergers (in this case, me) is the one that need not change, need not focus on anyone but himself following something like a diagnosis, to reflect and find purpose.

But now? Now I’m thinking… I do need change. I do need to focus on those around me. To help as best I can. To do the best I can.

My wife and I will be fine. I will do my best to meet her half way in all things.

My invisible hurdles will not be my son’s invisible hurdles.. they’ll be completely visible, and I’ll be there to help and encourage him over them.

And for those who think life is hard, or need a little inspiration or simply have a question… I want to be there for them. Maybe not in person, because the diagnosis didn’t hit me that hard! I still don’t much like social settings. But certainly, I can help online.

My blog, through social media, through my other writings… autism has been important for me for a long time now. Because my son is important. But now, now it’s important because it’s important to me.

I’ve said that 1 in 88 is not the number of people affected by autism, it’s the number diagnosed… well, now, some of those affected people are affected because of me.

And I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that the effect it has is a positive one.

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I have Aspergers – Part 2: Getting the diagnosis

For more on this series, go back and read part 1: who I am.

It has been quite some time since my wife first suggested to me that a lot of how I am reminds her a lot of how my son with autism is. It was one of those things that I would dwell on for a while and would come up between the two of us from time to time.

After a while, I decided that wondering was serving very little purpose. It answered some questions but raised a much bigger question and it did very little good in how I would talk to others about autism because I had this big piece of information to share but couldn’t… simply because I wasn’t sure.

So I finally decided to put my questions to rest and talk to my doctor.

Doctor HibbertMonth 1

A very unpleasant visit with my doctor marked the beginning of the process. Don’t get me wrong, she was very pleasant. It was the part where I had to find the words to answer “So what brings you here today?” that made the situation unpleasant.

No matter how many times to run it through your head ahead of time, when you’re sitting there and someone actually asks you… you go “uhhmm…. well… uhhh…”

So I find my way through suggesting that I need an assessment for myself and then need to explain why.

Let me explain. People who don’t read this blog, even my doctor, don’t know that I know anything about autism. I could just see her, in her mind, thinking “oh great, another one who thinks that just because he has google, he can diagnosis himself with anything that it tells him too.”

But it would seem that she did not think that, she understood the reasons and said she would put in the request.

Month 2

I get called into the local hospital, which is where the psychiatrists, psychologists and others of those fields all are.

I get to sit with a young lady who informs me that she has a questionnaire to run me through before they can determine if I qualify for an assessment.

I laugh and say “so this is an assessment to see if I need an assessment?”


About an hour into it, still not done, she’s already suggesting that there are some great councilors at the hospital that I could do sessions with or group therapies. There are even marriage councilors that she could recommend… just in case our marriage needs it.

So we continue on and finish somewhere near the 1.5 hour mark.

She basically asked me a lot about my state of mind… if I’ve ever considered suicide, if I would describe myself as being happy, if I get excited about stuff… and on and on and on.

It was clear that I needed an assessment.

Month 4

A doctor comes in from out of town (because there are none here) and gives me some tests.

Over 3 hours of tests!

I did an IQ test, EQ test, AQ test and an SQ test. There was even some other tests that I didn’t recognize.

On top of all of that was the regular observational stuff. He noted that I was able to make eye contact, was quite fidgety and some other things like that.

One thing that I noticed though, that I thought I should mention… some of the tests actually offended me a bit.

I found that, in some tests, alcohol and drug abuse accounted for at least one third of the questions.

Questions such as “has your alcohol abuse affected your relationship with your family?” and the answers would be “rarely, sometimes, occasionally, often, all the time” or choices to that effect.

Where was the option for never? Or… I don’t drink?

Questions such as “has your drug use ever interfered with your job?” seem very one sided when there is no option to say no… only that it has to be to some various degree.

And they were repetitive… as though they were trying to see if you’d answer the same question differently later in the test if it was worded just differently enough for you to not recognize it.

The thing is… when you are answering 300-400 questions and 1/3 of them are about alcohol or drugs… you start to feel like you’ve been judged before the fact.

Is this really how they think it is for autistics? That they’re all alcoholic drug abusers?

Most of the time, I would just scratch it out and actually write “I don’t drink” or “I’ve never done drugs” and just let them figure it out or I would just not answer.

A part of me sat there wondering… if I’ve never been a drunk or a stoner… will I still qualify for an autism diagnosis? Is that how it works with them?

Still though, I just tried to brush it off and say “they know what they’re doing” and did my best to get through.

After 3 hours, I was exhausted.

The doctor told me he’d be back in town in 2 months.

Month 6

Doctor didn’t show up.

He did say he’d call me in month 7 if he wasn’t able to come back in month 6.

Month 7

No call.

Month 8

I call the hospital and they tell me to call my doctor’s office.

My doctor’s office is all shut down for the holidays.

Month 9

My doctor’s office tells me that they have nothing, know nothing and I have to talk to the hospital or the doctor that did the diagnosis.

The hospital tells me that the results should be at the doctor’s office.

Month 10

I sign a paper at the doctor’s office giving them the legal capacity to track down this doctor and get my results.

Month 11

My doctor’s office gets the results and tells me that they will not give me the results until we can meet face to face…. in month 12!

One full year.

However, I ask to be put on the cancellation list and by some miracle, I’m called in… in month 11.

I talk to my doctor and then talk to a councilor that same day and I am told that it is official.

I am diagnosed with Aspergers and Mood Disorder too.

A long year

It’s been a long year… a long several years if you take into account the time that I’ve suspected it before hand.

But worth it. Because now I know.

The process is obviously not the same for everyone, I would imagine most people don’t lose their doctor somewhere along the way.

But still, I am glad that I waited until after I got my diagnosis to tell anyone… and this is why.

After going through over an hour of questions just to be assessed for an assessment, then another 3+ hours of doing test upon test upon test plus observation plus what ever paperwork he had to do once back at his own office… I feel very justified in not assuming that I could diagnose myself.

I mean, it turned out that my suspicions were right. But still. I am not qualified. That much is so obvious to me now.

If the experts, who attend years and years of school, have read libraries worth of books and go through assessments just like that one on a regular basis are still able to make a misdiagnosis from time to time…. then who am I to think that I could ever get it right just by going on a feeling?

When my son was diagnosed at 2, the doctor made the diagnosis much in the same way I did… I watched his behavior. I could tell that his milestones were delayed and so could the doctor.

But it’s not like that for adults. It’s not that simple.

If you suspect that you have autism, I will take your word for it. Still, I suggest finding out for sure.

No, it won’t change your life and they won’t throw you into services that you don’t need, since there really are none… but believe me when I say that I am very very glad that I didn’t tell anyone until I was sure.

I wasn’t confident of the decision to stay quiet before but after having gone through it all, I am now.

I now have a real answer. And even though I’m still me and nothing much in my life has changed, it is a huge question answered and as strange as it sounds… it’s a big weight off my shoulders.


Part 3: Life after an autism diagnosis

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I have Aspergers – Part 1: Who I am

I started my autism blog with a very specific focus, which is why I named it “Autism From a Father’s Point of View.” It was to be a place for me to write about my son, Cameron, his growth with autism and what I’ve learned along the way.

It was never meant to be about me.

But things have changed.

I now have an official diagnosis.

I have Aspergers.

In Retrospect

autism tag cloudShortly after tucking our boys into bed one night, my wife and I talked about our son’s traits and which were due to him having autism and which were due to him just being an average little boy.

During a lull in the conversation, my wife said to me: “You know, that sounds a lot like the way you are” and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I have autism!

In that instant, I remembered events from when I was 2 and hurt myself or was scared, times when I was bullied, times where I said or did something wrong and the guilt still haunts me, times where I smelled or tasted or felt something so strong that I couldn’t stand it, all the times I’ve beat myself up for not being more social with people, all the years I stayed in my room, by myself rather than be with people, the way I’ve never really fit in with my own family, the way I’ve obsessed over things… my entire life hit me in a flash.

It was at that point, a couple of years ago now, that I became a “self diagnosed autistic” but I would never dare tell anyone. Not because I was afraid of what people might think but more so because I could never tell someone something what I was not absolutely certain of.

Who I am

I am the father of two wonderful children and a really great wife. My oldest son has autism. And thus, this blog was born.

That’s who I am.

Even though I was totally convinced of that and content in that knowledge, I still had lingering questions. Did autism explain so many events and experiences in my life that still stick in my mind as clearly as though they had happened just a short time ago?

It sure seemed to fit. But could I tell anyone?

If I became a “self diagnosed autistic”…
Would it define who I am?
What if I was wrong?
What if I got a diagnosis back and it said I did not have autism?
What if it did?
Would the diagnosis define who I am?
Would it reshape, in my mind, who I’ve been all along?
Would it make any difference at all?
Would it change who I am in the eyes of others?

And so I kept it to myself… well, to myself and my wife. She was the first to make the connection, after all. Which helps… having someone to talk to about it.

But for a long time, or so it felt anyway, I kept it to myself. I think it felt like a long time because I have been so active in the autism community. Often speaking up, often speaking out… and holding back the one thing that I felt should be the most important thing to share.

I saw other self diagnosed autistics speaking up all the time.

Why couldn’t I?

Because I wasn’t sure who I was. I felt it, but I couldn’t be sure.

Then came the diagnosis.

Now I know who I am.

Will my message change?

Now that I know who I am, or at least, am more confident about it now, will it change what I write or how I write?

Well, I already write about understanding and acceptance (I have a Facebook fanpage and an ebook by that name!) and have always written from my heart, how I’ve always felt and believed… so no, I don’t see how anything would ever change.

I’ve always written as though I had autism anyway, because I try to be as true to my son as I can… pushing for acceptance, community unity… and the good as well as the bad of autism.

My blog will retain it’s title. This is about experiences between a father and son. Always has been, always will be.

My diagnosis cements many of the things I’ve believed, it opens up my eyes in a lot of ways that I’m not sure I could ever truly explain but at the same time… it doesn’t change anything.

I’ve always been me. I have always said and written what I truly want to share.

Will it change how others see me? Treat me? Think of me?

Only time will tell.


Part 2 – Getting the Diagnosis.

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The subjective relativity with which we define “normal”

Normal… that peculiar notion of fitting in with those around us. Not with society… but with those around us. In highschool, some people felt it was normal to be with the cool kids, others with the nerds and so on. At work, for me, the designers tend to fit in with other designers more so than programmers and programmers tend to fit in with other programmers better than designers.

For parents, we want our children to be normal in the sense that they feel comfortable fitting in with other children that are good influences. If they tend to fall in with “the wrong crowd”…. then perhaps normal to them is something that we (the parents) won’t be too comfortable with.

For those of us with special needs children, we think of normal in an entirely different context.

Normal is much more abstract than all of that.

Normal is a conflicting array of all that we could ever wish for and the last thing we’d ever want.

not normalWhen our child is born

A funny thing happens when we have a child. I like to call it “their life flashing before your eyes.” They’re born, you flash a glimpse of their entire life… in contrast to when you are dying and you flash a glimpse of your own entire life.

Essentially, we see a fresh new start with limitless possibilities and all of the ways our child’s life can be so much better than our own was.

With that comes a very strong desire for our child to be anything but normal.

We see them standing against the crowd, standing up to bullies, being able to think differently and creatively… all of the wonderful qualities that makes an innovator, trail blazer and leader.

The last thing we want for our child is to be… mediocre… average… normal.

Growing up normal

The whole problem with the dream of bringing a child into the world that will be anything but normal is that we teach them from day one to be exactly that… normal.

Do as your told, eat all your food, say please & thank you, respect your elders and on and on and on… they’re all good things for people to know and do. But without really putting much thought into it, you are setting your child on the path to being normal.

We send our child to day care, school, play dates, the park… all in an effort to make friends like everyone else. To go to birthday parties like everyone else. To just fit in.

Oh, we still want for them to be great… to be smarter than the other kids, to get straight A’s in school and to be the cool kid that others want to hang out with.

But we sort of want them to do it the ‘normal’ way.

Then comes the diagnosis

Chances are, if your child has autism, you knew before the diagnosis that something wasn’t… dare I say it… normal.

But receiving the official word from the doctor is usually the moment that it truly sinks in for us and our notion of just what was and wasn’t normal is completely changed.

It’s pretty much at that point where all of the optimistic dreams of limitless possibilities leave us and we look at our child wishing for exactly the one thing that we didn’t want for them… to be normal.

The talking comes later, if at all, the toilet training comes later, if at all, the friend making comes later, if at all… and each step of the way, you’re thinking “not normal”, “not normal”, “not normal.”

But then…

Hopefully, if we learn how to help our child, where to get help, what works best and what doesn’t and we figure out what our child is truly capable of… we start to realize that all of this time, through all of these dreams and doubts… we got exactly what we wanted.

Our child is not normal.

We wanted it from the start, we dreamt of it and we wished for it… we just didn’t picture it this way.

But that shouldn’t get us down. Our child is beautiful and wonderful and amazing!

We find ourselves taking great appreciation in the nuances of speech, our senses, the patterns around us, the finer details, the strengths and weaknesses in others and ourselves, the world around us and in the power of unconditional love.

Our children continue to grow and show us just how much we’ve been missing in our lives. Just how much we were completely unaware of all around us.

We missed it… because we’re normal.

Our children are not.

Thank goodness.

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From the CDC: 1 in 88 have autism. Will there be rioting in the streets?

As much fun as rioting in the streets can be, what with the free tvs and tear gas… let’s just all just agree to riot on our blogs instead, where there is less pepper spray.

Besides, is 1 in 88 really worth rioting over? I guess to some, it is. To others, it’s not really a surprise.

By the way, if you want to read, direct from the CDC, as to what all of their numbers were and how they got to this total, check out their report here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6103a1.htm?s_cid=ss6103a1_e

cdc logoReasons

So how did we get from 1 in several thousand down to 1 in 110 and now…. 1 in 88? Well, let me recap for you a bit of my history in the world of autism.

My son was diagnosed at 2.5 years of age… which was about a LONG time after I had requested it. Why so long?

At 1.5 years of age, I asked my family doctor if he thought that my son could be autistic. He knew my son rather well, I went over all the signs and concerns I had… everything I knew about my child, I put out there for him to hear.

He told me that Cameron was fine, he’s really bright, he doesn’t seem to have anything obviously wrong with him…. just give it time. And so we did.

Shortly before he turned 2, I asked again. This time, said that he felt that I didn’t need to bring him in for an assessment and that it’s perfectly normal for boys to not talk at 2.. and to be “quirky.” I insisted. He said that they don’t do assessments for children until they’re 2 years of age so I’ll have to wait either which way…  he’ll put in a request then.

So he puts in the request, we finally hear back from the hospital… his appointment is made for February. He turned 2 in July. Sheesh!

He was diagnosed “moderate to severe PDD-NOS”.

Why am I telling you this story?

Think about it… if my doctor can miss it, even advise against me getting the assessment done… how many other doctors are doing the same? Forget doctors… how many parents are out there missing it? I bet a parent insisting so much is far more rare than we’d like to think it is.

As awareness and information continues to grow, doctors and parents are becoming far more able to recognize the signs. MUCH better! But remember, my story was only from a few years ago.

So even though we’ve come a long way in the last 50 years, we’re not there yet!

As we continue to reach everyone though, the more children will get assessed. You have to understand, if more doctors can recognize it, if more parents can insist on it…. more children will be assessed… and therefore, diagnosed!

The numbers go up!

On top of that, how many children have been and still are being misdiagnosed? Sure there are a lot of children going without a diagnosis but there’s also a lot of children being misdiagnosed. Some children are being diagnosed with ADHD or OCD or SPD…. when in reality it’s a bit of all those things, which may add up to autism (might not too, but you get the point).

So again, as doctors and parents learn…. those wrongly diagnosed people are being reassessed and given the proper diagnosis… and the people that have yet to be assessed might be given the right diagnosis.

To make matters worse, we have the ever changing definitions put forth by the DSM. It was just the last one that first introduced PDD-NOS and Asperger’s into the Autism Spectrum umbrella to begin with. You just know that’s going to increase the numbers.

Then you have geography. Some areas are simply different than others. Some states have educators making the diagnosis, others have neurologists while others go to a pediatrician. And again, some places have more money than others, more resources, better understanding and more differences that can increase or decrease their ability to make proper assessments.

But what about toxins?

I know what you’re thinking… this is all about genetics and avoiding the issue of environmental toxins. Well, no. All of what I just explained *could* maybe explain all of the increases in numbers, but then it might not either.

The truth is that environmental toxins have most definitely increased over time… especially in the last 150-200 years or so… with industrial and technological ages moving faster and faster.

Do I think it’s vaccines? No. Do I think it could be *something* or a combination of a lot of somethings? Fact is, I just don’t know but it certainly could be.

We’re all living life a little differently than our ancestors did… inside and out. We eat, drink and breathe differently than they did.

However, I do know that our environment most certainly does not account for the entire increase. It does not make the numbers go up all by itself.

If our environment does have an effect on the numbers, then I believe that it’s all of the other stuff I’ve mentioned in combination with it.

Ready to riot?

Now the fun part, let’s riot!!

No, not in the streets and no, not in fear.

The truth is, new numbers or not… nothing has changed. The world is what it is whether or not we crunch some numbers.

What we need to do, together, is use the numbers to further educate and further make aware… if it means increasing the numbers even more, so be it! Let no little autistic go undiagnosed! Parents and doctors should NOT be missing it.

Actually, if you think about it, it’s a bit ironic. We raise awareness because the numbers continue to rise and in so doing, we cause the numbers to rise even more! And then when they do, we freak out and raise more awareness! 

The point is, if ever there was a reason to riot, this is it. We need services. We need help.

Not just us parents but the entire community. Autistics need more help in school, more help in the workforce, more help in life. Not to do everything for them but to be there for them when they need it!

My son is growing up. One day he’ll outgrow the services available to him. I would love to know that he can find work that won’t judge him or treat him unfairly, I would love to know that he’ll have services he can take advantage of if he needs to… whether he’s living on his own or not.

I would love to know that if my son wants to and is able to, he can do any job he wants to do, be anywhere he wants to be and do anything he wants to do, because he can, rather than being told that he can’t because of the label that others use to hold against him.

Not to stop the numbers from going up.
To help the people that those numbers represent.

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