By Anne Dachel
Regardless, these questions are going to be asked more and more. First of all, doctors like Paul Offit are ranting about the potential loss of herd immunity as more and more parents learn about the hidden dangers in the ever-expanding vaccination schedule. They’re hearing about Hannah Poling, a young GA girl who regressed into autism after receiving nine vaccinations in one doctor’s visit (not unusual). It’s hardly reassuring that while health officials have no idea why one percent of our children have autism, they’re sure it’s not because of their vaccine schedule.
Personal, conscientious, or philosophical exemptions (whichever you want to call it) are allowed in a number of states. It’s easy to do. Just sign the back of the vaccine requirement card.
It’s seen as a personal right of a parent to say what can be injected into their child.
But many question the right of a parent to exercise this right. By not vaccinating, they say, these parents are putting other children at risk of contracting a disease.
The other question is one that’s going to have deep implications in the not-too-distant future. Right now it involves schools. Autistic kids cost a lot more to educate and with almost a million of these students in the U.S., all schools are struggling to provide a free and appropriate education. These costs show no signs of abating. So what will school officials do when the special ed costs are so bankrupting that to provide for them, they have to reduce funding for the regular ed classrooms? How will general education parents react?
The mounting cost of autism
Proof of just how serious this is comes from CA. On November 12, 2010, ABC 7 in San Francisco ran this story with a video, Special ed students could bankrupt districts (HERE) That title wasn’t an exaggeration. Costs are skyrocketing and while the federal government mandates services for disabled students, they don’t pay all of their share. This real issue here is autism as ABC 7 reported,
“The budget problems facing schools across California are getting even worse. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of special education students in recent years and the added cost of teaching them could bankrupt some school districts.
‘In 2002, our unfunded special ed costs were about $170,000, this school year it's $3,200,000,’ district spokesperson Deborah Toups said.
“The Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose says if the trend continues it will bankrupt districts.
“As a result, more money is being taken from the general fund. And districts admit, because the federal funds are not there, not everyone is implementing these special education services effectively, so many parents like LaPides opt for non-public schools which are privately operated.”
“Parents and school districts agree as the number of children with autism increases, Congress must come to terms with the fact that the demand for more services will drain school budgets even more.”
Nowhere in the report from ABC 7 were we told why autism is increasing. It seems we’re just supposed to accept that autism happens and the schools must deal with the numbers.
On November 14, 2010, the Santa Clarita CA Signal had this story, Funding shortfalls plague special education (HERE)
Under “Increasing need,” we were told, “The biggest growth in special-needs students in the Santa Clarita Valley and statewide has been among those diagnosed with autism.”
This editorial from Ann Arbor, MI by State Rep Kathy Angerer reveals what the crisis is like for her state: (HERE) “When I began serving in the Legislature five years ago, approximately 10,000 children in Michigan had autism. Today, the Michigan Department of Education estimates that autism affects more than 15,000 children.”