Check it out: A giveaway, a new mom & changing the definition of autism

20 Jan

Happy Friday, all! I hope your weekends are looking much less freezing and snowy than mine is.

I’ve got a few things you should definitely check out when you get a chance:

First, want to win your choice of Wordplay locket from Jac & Elsie? Hop on over to The Arizona Russums to enter the giveaway! If you win, you’ll get to pick from the lockets in the shop.

Second, definitely no Fill-in-the-Blank Friday this week … because our lovely link-up hostess just had a baby. Wander over to the little things we do, check out Lauren’s beautiful family portraits and wish her congrats.

Third, read this and see if you can make any more sense of it than I can. In short, an American Psychiatric Association panel is toying with switching up the definition of autism so it no longer includes a majority of those with Asperger’s Syndrome or PDD-NOS, the latter of which is Joey’s diagnosis. The article doesn’t get into what would happen to people with either of those diagnoses — would they become their own entity? get their own label? — but the short-term affect is that those receiving state aid for those diagnoses would no longer get that aid because they would no longer be considered “autistic.”

Me and Joey on Christmas eve with Judgmental Santa. (You can't tell from this angle, but seriously, he's looking down on you.)

Joey has been getting help from the state in the form of therapists and behavioral analysts for more than a year now, and they have been a literal life-saver for my parents. However, if the definition of autism changes, 85 percent of those with PDD-NOS would no longer quality as autistic and would therefore no longer qualify for those funds. Chances are, due to Joey’s severity — he doesn’t talk, which is the biggie — he’d still be covered. Probably. But what about all those other parents who finally have found help? Would they have to start over? Or would their cases be grandfathered in so the parents wouldn’t have to work from scratch to get their kid help?

The idea is that with the numbers exploding the way they have, something isn’t right. Today, 1 in 110 children in the U.S. are on the autism spectrum, which currently includes PDD-NOS, Asperger’s and traditional “autism.” (Aside from the fact that those with Asperger’s are much higher functioning … no, I don’t understand the differences.) That is a 600 percent increase since Joey was diagnosed nearly two decades ago. (source.)

Getting aid is a bitch no matter how you look at it, but throwing in another monkey wrench into an already difficult system isn’t going to fix anything; it’s only going to worry parents and siblings and loved ones. I have to wonder — does anyone on these boards know anyone with autism? Do they have any idea how much they freak people out when they throw out this stuff as possibilities?

There’s something to be said for keeping what you think under your hat until that idea becomes something concrete.

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5 Responses to “Check it out: A giveaway, a new mom & changing the definition of autism”

  1. PhaseThreeOfLife January 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Wow, just wow. Maybe there should be less energy spent on figuring out who gets what label and more time spent on finding ways to better help these kids and their families.

    • Jaclyn January 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      I’d love to see what would happen if, for one month, the only people in charge of this stuff were mothers of children with autism. I bet more would get done in that month than have happened in the last decade.

  2. Alison January 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    I heard about this On the news. It’s crazy. I hope it doesn’t affect Joey. Hugs.

  3. lee January 21, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Thank you for the info! I have learned alot with reading your post.

  4. Ally January 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Loved your comment – you’re right, the mothers would get a lot done. I read an article about this the other day and my heart sunk. All I could think of was those who would no longer be eligible for aid and help. It has the possibility of enormous ramifications.

    Off to check out the baby and the giveaway. 🙂

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