“Everything happens for a reason!” the stranger said emphatically.
“What do you mean by that?” I inquired politely.
“Exactly what I just said,” he replied bluntly, taking me by surprise with his I’m surprised you didn’t know that tone.
“But I was asking about autism,” I pleaded. At that moment, I couldn’t quite recall how I had gotten into this conversation with this complete stranger, but I wanted to pursue it.
“Exactly,” he answered, continuing to be irritatingly vague.
“You mean the rapid rise in the rate of autism is happening for a reason?”
“Can’t you figure things out for yourself?’
“Yes, but it would be much easier if you just told me,” I said indignantly.
“Maybe you’re not telling me because you don’t really know.”
“What was the rate of autism 20 years ago?” he asked. Clearly, he knew.
“About one in ten thousand.”
“And what about now?”
“It’s expected to one in less than a hundred this year.”
“Quite a change!”
“I’m not sure.”
“When was autism first diagnosed?”
“Well, I think it became a recognized phenomenon in the 1940s when Leo Kanner, a doctor from Johns Hopkins University, used the term to describe the withdrawn behavior of several children he studied. Interestingly enough, at about the same time, Hans Asperger, a scientist in Germany, identified a similar condition that’s now called Asperger’s syndrome,” I added quite proudly.
He smiled at my knowledge of the facts.
“Actually,” I continued, “the term autism was first used way back in 1911 by a Swiss psychiatrist, Eugen Bleuler, to refer to a group of symptoms of schizophrenia. ”
“So autism isn’t exactly a new condition?”
“Getting back to my question then, what has changed?”
“There are a lot of theories. Some people believe that it simply has to do with better diagnosis.”
“If that were the case, where are all the ‘autistic’ adults?”
“I didn’t say I believed it,” I offered in defense.
“How about we stick to what you believe.”
“Okay, I think it is connected to the use of vaccinations.”
“Yes, there are plenty of documented cases of children suddenly developing autism after receiving a vaccination.”
“And I think our poor diets and over-exposure to chemicals, pollution and harmful EMFs (electromagnetic frequency) could also be factors.”
“Yes, indeed. But these are just the physical causes. What about the higher purpose of this phenomenon…remember, everything happens for a reason?”
“Maybe it is meant to guide us to change the way we live.”
“Now you’re talking.” He smiled again.
“Aha,” I yelled, startling myself at my sudden epiphany, “I read about the Autism Treatment Center of America recently. They used to be called The Option Institute. It was established by Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman after they helped their son recover from autism.”
“Go on,” he urged me.
“Ya, the program they use to help families interact with their autistic children is centered in unconditional compassion, acceptance and love … not to mention patience, gratitude and forgiveness.”
“Aren’t those the things our society could use right now?”
Suddenly the proverbial light bulb went on. “Now I get it!”
He looked at me reassuringly as if to encourage me to continue.
“This rapid increase in autism is meant to guide us to a more healthy, loving, accepting, compassionate way of living.”
“I believe it is,” he agreed. “And that includes Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD, OCD and so on.”
“They are meant to encourage us to change the way we live, treat each other better, eat healthy foods and live a more healthy lifestyle.”
“I knew you’d get it,” he said, patting me on the shoulder. “There is a really awesome video that explains this ‘autism’ phenomenon. You might want to check it out.”
“I will,” I promised excitedly.
“Now I must go before I miss my bus again.”
“Everything happens for a reason,” I said.
Have an awesomely understanding day!