One in 88

by Jen Lee Reeves on March 30, 2012 · 7 comments

in 2012, special needs

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 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.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa March 30, 2012 at 6:20 am

Loving your blog as always!! This was an interesting post for me. When we found out about Ella’s hand while I was pregnant the doctor told us the statistics. I never realized it before but once you are the “1” in the statistic, statistics don’t seem to matter anymore. Who cares if the odds are 1 in 10, 1 in 100, or 1 in 100,000. When you are the “1” nothing else matters except doing everything you can to help your child be the best “1” possible.

One of my favorite books that I like to read to Ella at bedtime is “Tickle Monster” by Josie Bissett.

Jen Lee Reeves March 30, 2012 at 7:01 am

Melissa – you are wonderful and I totally agree. (And thanks for the book recommendation.) Di – who is a regular commenter here and on Facebook mentioned how she would like all of the statistics to go away and realize every single child is special in some way. Why can’t we treat all of our kids with the care they need so they can all grow up to be awesome?

Lisa March 30, 2012 at 7:16 am

And I think I read that 1 in 54 boys has autism. That number is huge. My SIL works with autistic kids so we know quite a few also which is why that stastic doesn’t surprise all the much (and yet, it still does too).

Melisa March 30, 2012 at 7:20 am

I was stunned (but not surprised) by the number, too. It’s crazy.

I love Melissa’s comment up there, by the way.

Paula @ Frosted Fingers March 30, 2012 at 7:48 am

I seem to know a lot of kids with Autism but thank God have not had to deal with it myself. My heart goes out to all those mothers that have to struggle with this and any other “defect” daily.

Polish Mama on the Prairie April 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

These statistics just keep climbing. It’s so sad. And makes you appreciate life as it is.

One of our favorite books is Puff the Magic Dragon. It always makes me choke up reading it to my kids as it was a book and song I remember learning as an ESL child.

Ettina February 22, 2016 at 7:03 am

Autism has always been this common, we just didn’t know about it. The only study to directly examine the prevalence in adults (whether or not they were diagnosed) found the exact same prevalence as they’ve found in children. In the autistic community (which is separate from the parents’ community) I see so many people in their 30s, 40s – even 70s – who have gone their whole lives feeling different and not knowing why. Only now, with the new understanding of how varied autism can be, are they finally getting an answer to why they’ve struggled and how they’re different.

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