ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Disabled Children: Why are the numbers rising?

Updated on December 27, 2009

Thoughts from a parent of an asperger child

Even before my son was diagnosed with asperger sydrome 11 years ago, my colleagues and I had been discussing the rising numbers of disabled children we were seeing. As teachers, we felt as though we were referring children in greater numbers as time had progressed. Of course, as a parent of a "differently abled" individual, I tend to notice the number more than someone who does not live with this issue. It seems as though everyone I meet these days has a story to tell about their son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew or friend who has some sort of disability. True, they tend to share with me because my son has Asperger syndrome, but I am noticing this in other avenues as well.

I joined Facebook almost two years ago. I have had the wonderful pleasure of reconnecting with friends from grade school, high school, and college years. What has amazed me is the number of my former classmated who have children with some sort of disability. Many of my facebook friends have children with autism, down's syndrome, asperger syndrome, as well as various learning disabilities. It makes people wonder if the rising numbers have anything to do with our environmental changes, or the medical breakthroughs we have had, or the chemcials that are added to the foods nowdays.

My oldest child was two months premature. Thinking back on those two weeks we spent in the neonatal intensive care unit with him, I remember many of the other babies who were in the hospital with our son. One of the babies was less than a pound at birth. She survived and was released five months after our son. I know that many years ago, most of the babies I saw in the NICU, including my child, might not have lived past birth. The process of natural selection would have taken over. This may be one factor in why there are more disabled children. Medical science has enabled these babies to live. Our lives are both challenged and enriched because of the ability to save these lives. Of course that is just at theory, but it is something to ponder.

Other issues to ponder are the large number of hormones and chemicals we are pumping into our foods. Many years ago, life was simplier, food was natural, may have not lasted as long, but it was eaten when fresh, discarded when old and far healthier for us all. Shots given to our children need to be noted as well. True, giving our children the ability to fight diseases through vaccinations is indeed a wonderful breakthrough of medical science, however, it can also be harmful to certain children. It is definitely worth looking at this factor. Doctors who say that vaccinations do not cause autism are the same doctors who report that they do not know what causes autism, so how do they truly know that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism? My husband and I often watch the video tapes of our son before he had his 2 year old vaccinations and we do note a difference in the way he behaved. We know he had the tendencies beforehand, but we tend to think the shots put him over the edge.

Of course. let us not forget the environment. We have blamed environmental changes for so many problems, why not issues with our children? Again, it is worth thinking about. In truth, we probably have more disabled children now than we ever did before because we are better at diagnosing than we were years ago. Our diagnostic tools are far more sophisticated than before. Teachers are alert to disabilites, as well as parents, pediatricians and other caregivers. This also leads to the problem of overdiagnosing and misdiagnosis, but that is another hub for another day.

The bottom line is that we have the tools now to understand and care for our children. I am very grateful to medical science and educators for the knowledge available to those who live with and care for my son and others like him. We, as a society have come a long way from the years when some who was a bit different was locked away, never given a chance to contribute, to be a vital part of the world. Disabled children now have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and become productive adults. Maybe one of those adults will be someone who helps others with his or her disability. Its possible, if we keep growing.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)