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Old 08-16-2012, 10:48 AM
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If you want an annecdotal point: about 18 years ago I was working for a psychiatrist. We had a new patient that sent him to a medical library to research papers on this 'new' thing. He came back with a punch of xerox copies and new knowledge, and labeled the patient with autism. And over the year or so I continued there, he changed the diagnoses on at least a half dozen of his regular patients from non-specific retardation and such to autism.

Bingo! A proportionately huge rise in the number of autistic patients in his practice, and it had nothing to do with an increase in the disease among children.