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I've been absent from blogging the past couple of weeks. The press copies of my book arrived, and I have been happily sending them to the most receptive and caring people, plus staying on top of the educators' web ring and all the other marketing activities that come along with a newly published book.

During my blogging hiatus, new autism numbers have been released by several sources. Parents report that the number affected by autism is 1 in 91; old CDC figures show 1 in 150; newer CDC figures jump to 1 in 100; and recently on LinkedIn, I read a post that some folks believe the magic number is 1 in 60 in boys.

It seems that whatever number best fits your purposes is the prevalence number used. What I DON'T want to see happen is a shrugging of the shoulders by folks who are not part of the autism community, saying we need to get our story straight. The focus, here isn't on the second number. Whether it's 91 or 100 or 150 or 60.... the important truth is that ONE.

How do we help/reach/teach/care for that ONE? How do we develop curricula to prepare that ONE for life after school? How do we adjust ourselves and our world to accommodate that ONE? Or do we try to force him to adjust and conform to us?

I don't have the answers. I'd love to hear your feedback.

As someone who lives with TWO people on the spectrum, I struggle every day to understand them and love them and provide them with what they need to be happy. My book, There Are No Words, is an attempt by one writer (me) to show the value in friendship with folks on the spectrum. I'd love it if I could make a small difference in how neurotypical people view autistic people.

Autographed copies are now available at www.marycalhounbrown.com.

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Comment by Rebecca Lawson on October 15, 2009 at 12:40am
Thanks for your post. You may be able to help me with a dilemma I have at the moment. I work half time at an alternative school. One of my students is pregnant. I think she is in the 11th grade. Yesterday I got an article about the risk of giving Hepatitis B vaccine to newborns. Do I print the article and give it to her?

She is a smart girl who dreams of being a pediatrician one day. Yet, she is about to have to make some decisions - or simply have decisions made for her if she doesn't make them. Her sister got pregnant and never completed school.

Do you have any guidance? I don't want to overstep my "place." I also don't want to encourage her to do something that will cause problems later.

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