Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An article today confirms that there are certain communities in California where the incidence of autism is higher. The article states that families with higher education and greater levels of income report higher incidences of autism. The report speculates that there might be an environmental factor such as the household products that high income families use. I think this is a total hoax and a distraction from the real issues. What possible products could rich people use that are not used in the homes of middle and low income families? I grew up poor and I guess would be considered one of these highly-educated folks and I don't see a bit of difference in the household products used by my family in the projects and by my family today. Autism is ravishing communities, and not just rich ones. Poor and middle class families have children with autism. Suggesting that it is an affluent disorder makes it all the more impossible for poor families to get the resources they so desperately need--after all, if the only face of the disorder are the rich and famous, and highly educated, god knows that's where the research and resources will be focused and expended.


  1. Completely agreed. This disorder crosses all economic levels.

  2. Thank you for discussing these issues. I am not a doctor, but I find that very often the parents of autistic children are very intelligent. One must always be careful with these kind of observations. I am an attorney who represents child with disabilities. There is no question that the people I see are very involved, committed parents.
    Autism is a neurological disorder. I think that there is a real possibility that high levels of intelligence may cause some fragility or environment sensativity which in some instances may lead to autism.
    That, of course, is academic. The real challenge is working with children with autism so that their wonderful personalities and character can shine. I love the individuality, freshness, and unique personalities of these children. Their potential can be terrific and that potential must be released.

  3. I would be interested to see just what is the ratio in these districts to severe as opposed to high functioning autism. Something tells me that the levels of the severity of autism is probably about equal (since it is not something that can generally be glossed over) but its the high functioning student in these poorer districts that do not receive services.Something never discussed is that the middle class and poor school districts may not have the school resources for special education. So if a child is getting by, the districts let the obvious social and emotional deficits of autism slide. The parents in these districts also do not have the financial capability to sue the districts in order to enforce their children's legal rights.They may not even know that their children are entitled to services.It is also not above some districts to lie about what constitutes a need for services as well (had that one happen to me). Having been involved in the special needs community for the past 15 years, as well as part of @TheCoffeKlatch support group since its inception, one of the realities that I have learned is that autism knows no territorial boundary, no ethnicity, religious affiliation, skin color or socioeconomic strata. Autism is a true equal opportunity disability.