Saturday, June 1, 2013

1 in 50

It is now being said that 1 in every 50 children will be diagnosed on the spectrum........ http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/03/20/autism-prevalence-is-now-at-1-in-50-children/

In the past I would have said those results are insane and probably so far fetched or that maybe just maybe doctors had just wanted to hand out a label to any parent that walks into their office so that it will give them an answer to why their child is so difficult and non compliant. That was my line of thinking about a year ago. 

In that last year in the small community I live in I have encountered at least 4 more children who are on the spectrum. When I refer to small community I am talking about the apartment complex I live in. I think but I am not certain there a few more but I really haven't done my research. Still that is some pretty crazy statistics. Out of those families I have encountered all but us are military families. Hmmmmmm

Lately my circle of friends revolves around my Autism Community. I am ok with that. We tend to stick with what we know and since we all know ASD we all know what to expect. Now to expand upon this a little more just to prove to you what a small community Abilene is I will tell you just how much I believe these statistics and how crazy it is to see so many diagnosis.

H used to attend Day Nursery and the director was amazing she was there for us when H was really struggling to meet milestones. She had a grandson the same age also named Hunter. When he would do drop in he would be with my Hunter. After I got my job at the CDC I decided to move H. Sadly that proved to be a good move since that center had to close its doors. However in that time I came across a lady named Tamara on Facebook who was trying to obtain a service dog for her son Alex. I was so happy to come across her I messaged her and ended up going to her house one evening.  Upon hanging out I kept staring at her Hunter thinking boy this kid looks familiar. Finally she made a comment about her mom and how she was on her way over after work. I casually asked what she did. She told me she was the director at Day Nursery. My jaw dropped. 5 minutes later we were reunited with Denise his old director at DNA. Hello small world! 

The family I met as again just by chance. We were going out of town and needed someone to let our dogs out. A lady by the name of Dani agreed to help me out. She has two young boys one of which is close in age to H. We had no idea really at the time our connection would become more than dog sitting. Suddenly we got to talking and I discovered her child was on the spectrum.  Really what are the odds right?! We have actually become very close and have really helped each other out when life has been hard on us. Her husband is active duty. Again what are the odds. 

I met another mom on one of the FB pages for Dyess. She was talking about our ASD child who could escape his bed. I started talking to her and we became friends. Her son was on the more severe end of the spectrum. Her son is the same age as H. She also has a son who is a little younger. We go to the same rehab facility and are apart of the same support groups. Her husband is also military. See I am really on to something here right?

In the fall of last year we were told a young boy would be starting our preschool classroom and possibly on the spectrum. He was a single dad who was in the military and trying to actually get out since he was the sole caretaker of his 3 year old son. After some time he joined the support group we created on FB called the Spectrum Connection. His son also goes to WTRC. He lives in the same small community as I do. 

I often frequent the base swap pages on FB to find great buys for H. There was a cute pair of John Deere Boots that were a great price so I messaged Brittney, the lady selling them, and said I want them! While discussing my pick up arrangements I discovered we lived right around the corner from each other. I told her I would have to come later that day as my son had therapy. The details were set and I was picking up the boots later that evening. She messaged me later and asked me about what therapy my son did etc. Turns out her son is on the spectrum, and she also goes to WTRC. Her son is a few years older than mine.

 I should point out at this point all my encounters have been male that are on the spectrum. Even more proof that how real these statistics really are. 

Last night I was invited to a home business party. One of the ladies there had a child on the spectrum. Her husband used to work with mine. We actually spent NYE with them at the base bowling alley right before Chris and I got married. This however was back before I really knew much about ASD. I just thought he had ADHD. Anyways the lady whose house we were at had three young children. I had noticed her profile picture back in April was the blue light bulb for LIUB. I never however want to ask a parent if their child is on the spectrum because well that can be offensive.  Anyways we fast forward to this afternoon and she mentions something on H's page about horses and her kids and I message her and ask if she had a child on the spectrum. Turns out she has two. She also lives in my small community. This time however one child is a female the other is male. Her husband is military. We have really discovered a nice bond in the last 24 hours. It also is amusing to know she used to work with my husband. Now lets all sing "It's a Small World!"

Now these stories do not include friends I have met through Chris or from friends of friends who have children on the spectrum. This also does not count the friends who have not had their child tested or have not received their diagnosis yet. So really think about that. Just here in Abilene in my little circle of friends. I didn't set out to meet these ASD families we just happened to meet by chance. 

So if you haven't clicked on that link at the top maybe you should. Those statistics are pretty outrageous but so true.