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Walk. Autism Speaks.

I didn’t tell anybody I was pregnant until I was 20 weeks along. Granted, the only people who didn’t know thought I had gained twenty pounds or had a large tumor. But I was older when I was pregnant, 44, and I knew if I went public with the news of my expecting, some nasty-souled person would pipe up with the comment, “you know, the older you are when you have a child, the more likely that the child will have Down’s syndrome or autism.” And I knew, I would lose it. I would break down. Fear and emotion would become a storm surge and wash me away. So I tried to delay the prying comments until after the amniocentesis.

Whether these fears are justified, whether the test is dependable, whether if the situation manifested I would not be able to handle it are just details, just logic-mind hindsight. The fear was real to me and overwhelming.

There are lots of scary statistics about the prevalence of autism. It has affected many families I know. We don’t know what causes it. I’m betting on epigenetics - grandparents consuming DDT or HFCS or something. But whatever is the reason, I feel powerless against it.

So I walk, every year. It’s a short walk, and I don’t raise much money, but this is a fear that needs ending.

Please consider walking, August 18th, 2012. Or supporting (