This is a partial quote, but it's the point. Autism hasn't necessarily suddenly reached a critical mass, according to these findings. Only the tolerance, understanding and diagnosis has increased. Instead of the blame-the-parents, electroshock therapy, institutionalization and/or lobotomies that happened before, the medical community have come out of the dark ages and started to once again "notice" that autism and other spectrum disorders seem to run in families. In other words, it's genetic. This study, along with the genetic support, seems to indicate that autism incidences are actually falling.
It also seems to indicate that, and I can't stress this enough, IT'S NOT THE VACCINES.
On Sept. 22, England's National Health Service (NHS) released the first study of autism in the general adult population. The findings confirm the intuitive assumption: that ASD is just as common in adults as it is in children. Researchers at the University of Leicester, working with the NHS Information Center found that roughly 1 in 100 adults are on the spectrum — the same rate found for children in England, Japan, Canada and, for that matter, New Jersey.
This finding would also appear to contradict the commonplace idea that autism rates have exploded in the two decades. Researchers found no significant differences in autism prevalence among people they surveyed in their 20s, 30s, 40s, right up through their 70s. "This suggests that the factors that lead to developing autism appear to be constant," said Dr. Terry Brugha, professor of psychiatry at the University of Leicester and lead author of the study. "I think what our survey suggests doesn't go with the idea that the prevalence is rising."
In England, where there is widespread suspicion that the childhood vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella has led to an explosion in autism cases, the study was hailed as part of a growing body of evidence that the vaccine, which was introduced in the 1988, is not to blame.