I’m trying to wrap my brain around the statistic that every one child in 88 is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Here are the stats I know about congenital limb differences: Limb difference occurs in 1 in 3,846 live births in the U.S., or at a rate of 2.6 per 10,000 live births. Congenital upper limb difference occurs 1.6 times more often than lower limb difference. (The numbers come from a 2008 release by the Amputee Coalition.) Anyone who is touched by the special needs world is a part of some type of statistic.
Whatever the diagnosis… Today’s stats surprised and yet didn’t surprise me. So many of my friends’ children are touched by autism. Is this because I’m closely tied to the special needs world? Probably. But it’s also because I know a lot of people. It’s a stunning number that makes sense.
Is this number enough of a reason to get researchers looking at the “why?” Seriously. Why? Is it environmental? Is it genetic? How can we help these different brains succeed? I want to know. I want to help. I care and I hope today’s stats have more people talking and caring (and not scared). There are also so many whys when it comes to limb differences. Let’s get some answers for autism… And maybe someday an answer for my kid.
By the way… I’m giving away a signed copy of Schulyer’s Monsters as a thank you to your support of this site and the powerful changes I’m working towards helping united the special needs world. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post with a title of a book you love (special needs-focused or not).
Also… Thank you so much for your support in the About.com Reader’s Choice awards. Our Facebook community was the runner-up in the online community category. You can learn more here. If you’re interested in sharing why you love the Born Just Right community, you can leave a comment here.