It seems that autism stories are always in the news and with good reason. At Kidmunicate Pediatric Speech Therapy, we try to keep up with the latest news on the subject because we treat so many children with autism. We also want to do our part to help inform others.
Here are the interesting autism stories from this past week.
The Black and Blue Dress
I saw a black and blue dress. My husband and daughter saw a white and gold dress. A poll showed that 69% saw what my husband saw. The debate circled the globe several times over. Every news show featured the pop culture story. If another poll were taken today, 100% would say they are tired of the story. Well, none of those stories made a parallel connection to autism like this news story from Billings, Montana. In a local news story called Understanding How People with Autism Feel, Kelly Krings-Lunder, a licensed clinical social worker, made an interesting point, a point worth sharing. She said that the frustration and misunderstanding that people felt about the white and gold, I mean the black and blue dress, perfectly illustrates the sensory issues that people with autism feel every day. People with autism may see, hear or feel something differently than you and I despite being exposed to the same stimuli. Perception is often reality. Watch this interesting 2 min clip.
A story in the Coloradan called, Soapbox: Bill ensures kids get autism treatments highlights Colorado lawmakers beliefs that children with autism can get better. They believe that if children with autism can get access to the right treatments for the right amount of time, especially applied behavioral analysis (ABA) that some behaviors can be replaced with more productive ones. The problem, ABA is expensive, it can cost up to $70,000 per year. Lawmakers were not deterred by this number because they believe that the lifetime cost savings can be enormous. They are convinced that therapy works and will save money in the long run. Currently, health insurance plans provide the mandated minimum of $34,000 a year from birth to 8 years old and $12,000 per year from 9 to 19 years old. Senate bill 15-015 aims to remove the caps to increase access to the quality care that children with autism need. The bi-partisan bill passed the Colorado senate 30 – 0. I am not sure who is going to pay for this increase, but it is a great victory for the autism movement.
Millions and millions of dollars are being spent to find the genetic cause to autism. Scientists are frantically looking for the genetic code that will unlock a cure or a preventative solution. A London doctor, named Dr. Derrick MacFabe, had a different theory, a theory many dismissed. Regardless, he followed his gut. He believes that much of what ails us can be traced to our digestive tracts. He believes that the reliance on antibiotics, disinfectants and refined foods over the last century have allowed harmful bacteria to compete with healthy life sustaining bacteria. You can read Autism’s Bacteria Link Gains Credence on the London Free Press website.
The Kidmunication Point
There are a lot of really smart and dedicated people helping improve autism understanding, seeking more money for better treatments and researching promising new theories. We can all participate. We can read autism stories and share them with our social media networks to improve awareness and understanding. We can call our congressman and senators, on both the state and federal level, and encourage then to vote for laws favorable to autism. And finally, we can donate money to help fund research.