I see it's finally being made 'official'. I remember reading an article many moons ago that suggested that the mental health care professionals were pushing to retire Asperger's as a separate diagnosis. Seems that they got their wish.
One of the most jim-jam inducing statements I've heard from parents lately is the phrase "My kid is on the spectrum
." I've noticed this phrase is getting more traction, so be fully prepared to have this shoved in your face with increasingly regularity.
I might have said this before, if so, excuse the repetition. I had a client that used to work in a care facility for autistic kids. She said it was an absolute fucking nightmare because the residents ranged from 'profoundly unable to communicate' and were frequently violent and unable to even go to the bathroom without help all the way to 'bolshy teenager who won't clean his room'.
Her job was made difficult by the fact that there was a lot of noise, and not enough signal - too many cases that really didn't meet proper criteria for being classed as autistic. She said that part of this was driven by social workers making diagnoses. [horror]. I guess part of it is driven by parents wanting their kids to be 'brilliant' and also by the media who keep insisting there is an 'epidemic' even though that has not been established statistically. Add to that the ease with which information (good/bad) that is available online and the modern tendency towards self-diagnosis and the popular diluting of medical terms and boom, you've got yourself some very muddy waters to plumb.
So far, I've met only one genuinely autistic kid and a gazillion smug, hypochondriac, trend-surfing parents who have overdosed on flimsy pop-culture science.