Why Are There So Many More Disabled People Now?

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A common refrain that is often espoused these days by the able-bodied is, “Why are there so many more disabled children today than when I was growing up?” To many, the seeming “epidemic” levels of disabilities such as autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and so on is frighteningly high. Looking to answers such as an abundance of pesticides, vaccines, ultrasounds, “chemicals” and other culprits is increasingly common as people search for an answer. When someone says it is due to better diagnosis or a broadening of diagnostic criteria, people like prominent ableist Jenny McCarthy respond:

“All you have to do is find a schoolteacher or principal and ask them that question. They would say they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past. I think we’re over diagnosing it by maybe 1%. Now you look around and there are five shadows — kids with disabilities — in every class.”

I have…

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