The Problem
1. Autism and similar expressive language (the sufferer cannot speak) disabilities have been recognized for over a century. They have existed far longer. Even now, they are still poorly defined.
2. There are already almost 200 genes on all 23 chromosomes implicated. Just one gene has to go seriously wrong. There are also epigenetic and environmental effects.
3. We would wager on more than 900,000 people with autism spectum disabilities in California, more than 8 million people in the United States and more than 200 million people world-wide.
4. One way to measure the strength of a society is to assess how it treats its weakest – the poor, the young, the old, the ill and the disabled. The United States of America in 2016 grades out as C- = better than many, but still not very good.
5. For families, the struggle to communicate and accommodate is often waged in desperate silence: trying to cope with or prevent seizures, self-injurious behaviors, tachycardia (heart rate triples), bullying … while discovering food allergies, environmental sensitivities and what exotic blends of three strong medications might work for a few months.
6. Then after maturity there's a fair chance dementia, diabetes and heart disease will start 25 years earlier than they would in a neurotypical person.
7. And it is very hard to tell how the autistic person feels.
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