Monday, December 6, 2010

Did You Know That Autism is on the Rise?

This semester I spent time volunteering at Coastal Opportunities, which is a wonderful non-profit organization, that provides living supports, day-habilitation services, vocational support, and so much more to adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. I could go on forever with how wonderful I think they are but that's not really the cause of this sporadic posting.

I'm going to do a presentation tomorrow at school about this service and this population and I was researching more into our state's resources as to why in the world there are waiting lists for such valuable services and I stumbled across this report that Maine put together on Autism last year. Particularly this jumped out at me....

In 1984 there were fewer than 40 individuals identified as having autism in Maine. To provide services to them, the 111th Legislature passed the Autism Act of 1984. Today, in 2009, our schools serve 2,222 students identified with autism.

And then in a document titled, "Realities of Living in Maine with A Disability", had this chart....

I know, old news, right? Autism is rising at an exponential rate. But it still gets me every time. Takes my breath away, want to pull out my hair, and just scream, "Why does no one notice? Or care??".

1 comment:

Lynn said...

And I just read somewhere some offhand comment about how the rates are finally starting to tail off. But your chart looks like it goes til 2009 and it ain't tailing. I think alot of people's attitude is that it's not really going up but just that everyone is getting diagnosed at the drop of a hat...which infuriates me, because I know it's not true.