On The Increasing Diagnoses Of Autism
Rates of autism have multiplied remarkably in the past fifteen years -- going from the very rare (less than one in two thousand) to the pretty common (more than one in a hundred). The term used to be reserved only for children with really incapacitating difficulties in language, social relationships, behaviors, and usually low IQ. The autism spectrum has recently broadened to capture a heterogeneous group of kids who have much milder social and behavioral problems, normal speech, and normal (or even high) IQ. So, the explosion of autism doesn't mean that kids have suddenly gotten more autistic -- rather the diagnostic label is being applied more loosely and inclusively.
-- Allen J. Frances
Quoted on Thu Jan 26th, 2012