This is a really neat article that, I hope for some, will help debunk some of the "autism epidemic" talk.
Over the last two decades, estimates of the autism rate in U.S. children have climbed twentyfold. Many scientists believe the increase has been driven largely by an expanded definition of the disorder and more vigorous efforts to identify it.
Scientists are just beginning to find cases that were overlooked or called something else in an earlier era. If their research shows that autism has always been present at roughly the same rate as today, it could ease worries that an epidemic is on the loose.
By looking into the past, scientists also hope to deepen their understanding of how autism unfolds over a lifetime.
What happened to all the people who never got diagnosed? Where are they?