When I compare the number of cases of autism that are diagnosed now with the number we saw when I was a child psychiatry fellow in the late 1970’s I am horrified. Then, a child really was severely disabled by the illness and we were very much in the dark about what to do to assist the families.
I have the impression now that the diagnosis has much wider recognition and utilization. While the presentation varies tremendously, all of the children I see have what I would call in the broad vernacular an organic brain syndrome. This means basically that their brains are not working well. Anyone who knows these children would respond with “No Dah!” Please excuse my language. Yet remember that only 30 years ago Autism was considered a psychological problem that would respond to psychotherapy of various sorts.
Because the problem has become so prevalent, I have decided to give a presentation about the Autism Spectrum for my next lecture free to the public on March 10 at my office at 6PM. If you are in the neighborhood, and interested, or if you know someone who might be, please RSVP and join us. We always have a rousing discussion.