Friday, February 21, 2014

Check My Math

I haven't posted for a while...sorry about that.  I've been consumed with  one issue...getting insurance coverage for autism.  If you live in Utah, please read and consider.

Sunday night was kind of weird.  I woke up at 3:00 and my mind started churning about how to get our legislation passed.  I said, "Shut up, mind" and tried to get back to sleep.  Then Ben woke up with a croupy cough.

With a little coaxing he got back to sleep, but I was awake.  Thinking about math is usually a good way to get drowsy.  This time it wasn't so helpful.

I thought about probability.  Bear with me, please.

Assuming autism is randomly distributed:

  • The odds of having an autistic kid in Utah are 1/47.
  • The odds of not having an autistic kid are 46/47 or about .9787.
  • If you have 2 kids, the odds of neither of them being autistic is .9787 times .9787 = .9578 or 95%.

It continues like that - for any group of people, you raise .9787 to the power of the number of people in the group to find out the odds of NOT having one of them being autistic.  

Google will actually do this math.  Here's the whole thing as a formula that works there - just put it in the search bar:  :

  • 100*(1-(46/47)^33
  • 100*(1-(46/47)^66)
  • 100*(1-(46/47)^110)

You put the number of people in the population you want to look at as the last number and it spits out the probability that at least one member of your population will have autism.

  • 33 people gives >50% chance
  • 66 gives >75%
  • 110 gives >90%

You can do any population size you like, just replace that last number with how many people you've got.

You can start with your kids or how many you'd like to have.  Add your nephews and nieces.  Add how many grandkids you have or hope to have.  Plug that number into the formula.  What are the odds?  

If you have a business, how many kids do your employees have?  How many are there in your kid's class?  You can plug those numbers in there. 

This math didn't put me to sleep, and I hope it will be a wake up call for some of y'all.  

We have a bill, SB57, currently in the Utah Senate.  It doesn't fix autism, but it does ensure that autism doesn't break a family's finances when they have health insurance.  That's what insurance is for.  It doesn't directly help families who don't have health insurance, but it keeps those who do from competing with them for scarce resources.

If you live in Utah, please take a moment to e-mail or call your state legislators in support of SB57 - you can find them here.  If you'd like to learn more, visit the Utah Autism Coalition's page.

1 comment:

  1. They say you either love somebody with autism, or love somebody who loves somebody with autism. The numbers here show just how true that is.


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