This showed up on Slate this morning:
Good God. What exactly is Jim Borgman trying to say to us here? That we shouldn't have children because they might be autistic? That every pregnant couple should leave each day of their pregnancy in crippling fear that their child will be autistic?
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Autism rates:
"The incidence of diagnosed autism has increased since the 1990s. Reasons offered for this phenomenon include better diagnosis, wider public awareness of the condition, regional variations in diagnostic criteria, or simply an increase in the occurrence of ASD (autism spectrum disorders). The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders to be about one in every 150 children. In 2005, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) stated the 'best conservative estimate' as 1 in 1000. In 2006, NIMH estimated that the incidence was 2-6 in every 1000."
I consider myself a relatively risk-averse person, but I'll take those odds. I'm not saying autism isn't a serious problem, or that it isn't on the rise (though there's certainly some disagreement on that point). I'm also not saying that when Dr. M gets pregnant we won't worry about autism, or Down syndrome, or any of the other things that expecting parents worry about. I'm just saying I'm not going to let that prevent me from having children or dominate my feelings during the pregnancy.