Autistic Songs

Alan Griswold


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In The Costs of Autism (Ganz 2006), Professor Michael Ganz estimates the burden of autism on the United States economy to be around thirty-five billion dollars per year.

But of course with both a presumed autism epidemic and inflation running amok, surely it would not be asking too much to at least double that amount, to keep the number more currently up to date. And furthermore, the United States is just one country—a populous and expensive country, true, but one country nonetheless—and thus it would not be stretching the seams of Ganz's figure too greatly to apply an additional factor of ten when calculating a more worldwide estimate. And finally for rounding sake, if nothing else, we might as well nudge the total to a full one trillion dollars per year; because when it comes to this side of the balance sheet, I think it is only prudent we not appear too stingy.

Then let us consider a simple list of individuals—a partial list, true, but on this side of the balance sheet there is no need to be too greedy. Newton, Socrates, Darwin, Michelangelo, Luther, Archimedes, Van Gogh, Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, Beethoven, Einstein, Turing. I believe it has been well documented the amount of recompense these individuals have received for their various efforts, an amount generally understood to be somewhat short of modest.

Thus if Ganz is going to insist on a settling of accounts, and the agreement is that the worldwide autistic burden runs to a full one trillion dollars per year, then I think an obvious question still remains: when does the autistic population receive the remainder of what is due?

Copyright © 2011 by Alan Griswold
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