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Posts Tagged ‘Genetic Testing’

Prophets are usually derided as madmen, and I’m sure that I’ll come in for a pounding on this one in some quarters. Research into the etiology autism’s explosion is accelerating. Molecular biologists are looking for genetic markers that can explain what’s at the root of this dilemma. Having written on this before (see here), I stated that God is giving us a second chance at getting it right after what we have done with Down Syndrome babies, 93% of whom are aborted.

The numbers don’t look good for autism, and an abortion holocaust is brewing for them as well, one that is going to dwarf the Down Syndrome holocaust in comparison. The numbers are staggering. Consider first the graph below showing the rise in autism since 1992 (fightingautism.org).Click on the image to enlarge.
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Facts and Stats (From the Autism Society of America)

1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.1
Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 110 births.2
1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.3
Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.4
10 – 17 % annual growth.5
$60 billion annual cost.6
60% of costs are in adult services.7
Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.8
In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-400 billion.9
1 percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom have an autism spectrum disorder.10
The cost of autism over the lifespan is 3.2 million dollars per person.11
2003, 2006 Copyright the Autism Society. All rights reserved.
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1. Pediatrics, October 5, 2009, based on a National Children’s Health Survey done with 78,000 parents in 2007.
2. “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006.” Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbitity and Mortality Weekly Report, 18 December 2009.
3. Based on the autism prevalence rate of 1 in 150 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007) and 2000 U.S. Census figure of 280 million Americans.
4. “Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Changes in the California Caseload, An Update June 1987 June 20007.” Cavagnaro, Andre T., California Health and Human Services Agency. State of California 2003 survey of developmental disabilities.
5. Autism Society estimate based on 2003 US state educational data.
6. Autism Society estimates based on UK study by Jarbrink K, Knapp M, 2001, London School of Economics: “The economic impact on autism in Britain,” 5 (1): 7-22.
7. Autism Society estimate.
8. Autism Society estimate, using Government Accounting Office Report on Autism 2007.
9. Autism Society estimate.
10. Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England,” Report from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007, a survey carried out for the United Kingdom NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
11. Arch Pediatric Adolesc Med. 2007;161:343-34.

Focus on the current and projected costs. We simply can not afford $400 BILLION per year. We’re drowning now at $60 BILLION per year in costs. The money simply is not there now, let alone seven times that number within a decade. School systems are groaning under the financial weight of providing the services necessary to rescue these children from the most devastating dimensions of this insidious disorder in communication and social skills. Property taxes, which support the school systems, are spiraling upward beyond most people’s limits.

Something has to give.

Prediction: Within ten years we will have some reliable genetic markers identified. With genetic markers comes genetic testing. With genetic testing comes abortion. Imagine adding to the current rate of abortion 1 out of every 110 children born today. 1 out of every 70 boys.

This isn’t a matter of “IF”. This is simply a matter of “WHEN”.

We are not helpless here. We can do something about this, as much has changed since society started the genocide against Down Syndrome babies. Thirty years ago, there was still a large stigma attached to mental retardation, and not much advancement in the treatment and education of those with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. Combined with a paucity of services, the horrors that emerged from investigative reports of institutions housing these people certainly exacerbated the feelings of helplessness, dread, and guilt in the parents of these children and young adults.

Just as feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are the cardinal symptoms of suicide, these are the same forces behind abortion.

Great strides have been made in treating autism. Joseph was diagnosed with autism at age five with an age equivalent of 2.1 years in speech. The IQ tests were catastrophic. That was seven years ago. Today, after intense therapy (which includes a home environment where the therapy has become a part of the household’s fabric) Joseph presents as a somewhat shy and awkward child who is at or above average intellectually and academically, with vastly improved and ever-improving verbal and social skills.

It’s been a long, but love-filled road toward making Joseph a functional member of society.

However parents of all special needs children, not just autistic children, are seeing desperately needed resources dry up in many school districts as the numbers climb into the stratosphere. We need to change the entire paradigm by which we get our children treated. We have less than ten years to get this paradigm in place before genetic markers and genetic testing come online. The key is to have our houses of worship become the nucleus for services, for mentoring of parents with newly diagnosed children by more seasoned parents, for pro-bono parent workshops given by lawyers and therapists.

The clock is ticking. We need to get a whole new reality in place, and quickly. We need to have the alternative up and working well before the genetics catches up with us.

In Part II, the blueprint for an easily workable, sustainable, and authentically pro-life program.

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