Autism is the new hot topic and growing business, and that’s truly heartbreaking.

I just wanted to cry this morning. I follow under 300 accounts on Instagram. Many of them are friends or people I’ve met through the years. Other accounts are mostly illustrators for children’s books since I want to write at least one, one day in the future. You could say most of my feed makes me feel distracted and takes me away from some of things that are stressful or frustrating in my life. A lot of is inspiring and hopeful which brings my heart back into focus.

Just one week ago, an account I follow in Portland called A Little Lark posted about a customer with an autistic son. The little boy loved space and wore a popular shirt designed by A Little Lark to watch the solar eclipse.

Now just a couple of days later, I opened Instagram this morning and right away Penguin Kids posted the book cover of The Ostrich and Other Lost Things. The caption reads:

In this beautifully written middle grade novel, the bonds and challenges of caring for a sibling with autism are bravely explored, along with the pain and power that comes from self discovery.

It’s chilling for the small circle of accounts I follow to have posts about autism.

This brings me to something I noticed a couple of months ago when I logged into LinkedIn, just as casually as I browse Instagram. I had a few connection requests to approve and noticed a past photography client shared a post about a new business opening. It happened to be a new location for Florida Autism Center. At the time of writing this, they have opened another center within months – this brings the total of locations for Florida Autism Center to 22.

To me that is a huge number and growing too fast. To think they need to service so many families – it’s alarming to know the growth rate of diagnosis in this country. I feel so uneasy about it, confused and hurt.