I wish the government would stop pretending that the autism epidemic is all in our heads. Open your eyes - autism is all around us! There isn't a week that goes by when I don't see an autism sticker on a car, or an autism license plate, or a child in a public place showing all the classical signs of autism. Wake up people - autism is here and it's here to STAY. Sure, making the criteria more difficult will make the numbers sound better (higher criteria = less kids on the spectrum) but that only means there will be children all over our country with undiagnosed autism. The reason? So our wonderful insurance companies don't have to pay for therapy. (Not that many of them do anyway! That's only if you literally spend your days fighting denied claims and educating every insurance provider about insurance mandates for autism.)
We preach early diagnosis and early intervention and now they want to make it harder for these children to get the help they need? One day these autistic children will become autistic ADULTS. The price for therapy as children does not even compare to the price of 24 hour live-in facilities. If we can help these children become more independent and give them the tools they need now, why wouldn't we?
The autism epidemic is real. I'm the parent that never thought it would happen to me. I'm the parent who read the Jenny McCarthy books and thought that my son only had autism if he shut down completely... that's not the only type of autism. Autism is a SPECTRUM disorder. Autism is different for each person. Autism is real - just come live one day in my shoes, come meet my son and tell me that this is all in my head.