Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One in One - The Real Autism Rate - guest blog by John Krejcha


Tonight's guest blogger is my husband, John, an amazing man who founded and coordinates Autism Empowerment's Autism and Scouting program. John blogs regularly about scouting at www.autismandscouting.blogspot.com and hosts the Autism and Scouting Facebook page and group. He is a truly dedicated man and I love the fact that we can partner together not just in marriage and parenting but in business and volunteering.

John and I often talk about prevalence rates in autism. The topic that he writes about tonight is actually one that I have been wanting to write about in more depth for quite some time. I will be doing a follow-up blog later this week with my comments on serving the 1 in 1.  Enjoy!

One in One - The Real Autism Rate

Hello All Scouters, parents, leaders and scouts!

It is so good to be back blogging again. It really was my intention to blog at least 15 times during the month of April for it being Autism Awareness month but as Autism Empowerment had many different events, time really got away from me. I will be writing more because I have a lot I would love to share and get your feedback on. 

There have been so many things also that have been reported in the news lately that I have not had a chance to talk about. One of the largest things was the release by the CDC of the new “national” autism rates. The reason I put “ “ around national is that the rates that make up the national number only came from a handful of states and a handful of counties within those states. Nonetheless, based on a 2008 study, it is now reported that 1 in 88 are on the Autism Spectrum and 1 in 54 are boys. I will get back to this shortly. 

Our society is really kind of bent on reporting numbers. If you look at that pack that Autism Empowerment/Autism and Scouting is serving, 86% of our boys from Cub Scout Pack 2 fall someplace on the Autism Spectrum.

Recently, Autism Empowerment held some of its first physical events in the local Vancouver/Portland Metro area since receiving our 501(c)(3) status in September of 2011. We did hold a BSA training session on providing support to scout leaders working with scouts on the Autism Spectrum at the Excellence and Training Conference that reached about 300 scout leaders in the Cascade Pacific Council in early November.

We have been in the process of developing many new and exciting programs that we hope to roll out shortly. We held an Autism Acceptance and Awareness Forum in Vancouver that brought together local resources for families on April 3rd and then help the first annual Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt on April 7th.

At the Easter Egg hunt, 137 youth registered and we ended up serving over 450. Of the 450, about 70% were on the Autism Spectrum. 

In our family, 75% of our family is on the Autism Spectrum. I am the 25% that is not and thus I am outnumbered and I would not have it any other way. My family is as perfect in my eyes as they can be but sometimes I wish the challenges we face and meltdowns we have to overcome (we all have had these at one time or another) would be less.

I don’t bring up the numbers to be boastful and say hey look at what we did, I bring up the numbers because that is how many in society looks at things and how they measure things. What percentage is being served and how many? Thus it all relates back to those new numbers by the CDC. We understand that it is important to determine how many in our society are on the Autism Spectrum because then that will hopefully provide more funds for government programs, public school funding, more services an opportunities in the medical and recreational communities and the like but ….

Should it be about the numbers? No

I submit that it does not matter if it is 70% or 75% or 1 in 110 (old numbers) or 1 in 88 or 1 in 54 for boys (I think 1 in 36 in South Korea?), what matters is that those living with Autism it is 1 in 1 or 100%. If you have a child or young adult or a fully grown adult or it is somebody you love or care for that has Autism, that rate is 1 in 1. Every person and family is important and thus one of our goals is to serve the 1 in 1. Treat every person not as a 1 in 88 or 1 in 54 but as a 1 in 1, a unique, special individual that has potential and the capacity for love, acceptance and contributing to the world he or she is a part of.

At Autism Empowerment, we want to provide services in the HERE and NOW. All of the legitimate non-profits  do have a place and we welcome them and reach out to them to help serve the 1 in 1. We want to provide unique services such as the
Autism and Scouting program, Community Outreach Program and others that will be launched shortly.  

Karen and I feel a calling to serve by developing programs that will serve the 1 in 1. We have so many great plans for the Autism and Scouting Program and really want to be able to support to every scout, scout leader and family that has an association with a scout on the Autism Spectrum.

If you have not liked Autism Empowerment yet to keep on top of what is going on, please do so at http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment.  For all of those who have supported our mission by your donations, kind words and prayers thank you! We need your help! If you would like to help us in any of our programs we welcome that at as well. If you you have any questions on how you can help either with in-kind donations, direct donations or chance to volunteer if in the Vancouver/Portland area, please send me a note and I will be more than happy to get back to you.

Accept, Enrich, Inspire, Empower!

To learn more about Autism Empowerment, a 501(c)(3) public charity and to help support our Autism and Scouting Program, please visit:

Autism Empowerment Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment
Autism and Scouting Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting

john@autismempowerment.org or autismandscouting@gmail.com

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