We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Two generations ago, they were usually just categorised as "mentally retarded." If this seems amazing to those of you who know the math and technical abilities that those with HFA sometimes show, consider that you no longer hear the term "idiot savant" anymore, do you?
It's still messy. Rather than a spectrum there seem to be clusters of traits, and a few genetic markers are emerging. It's probably 5-20 different diagnoses, currently poorly differentiated.
Assistant Village Idiot
It doesn't help that the schools get more money for each kid that is labeled this way, either. Or that they are actively recruiting for disability benefits for people who have autism (in the ER there are posters that tell you how and what you are entitled to).
This increases the numbers too.
I am wondering how many kids that are just a little unique and quirky are diagnosed this way, because they aren't conforming.