Dec 14, 2021, The Hill: CDC: Autism prevalence in children up significantly from 2016 to 2018, and that's actually a good thing https://thehill.com/changing-america/opinion/585729-cdc-autism-prevalence-in-children-up-significantly-from-2016-to-2018
Rather than interpret the results of this study as implying that autism is a growing epidemic and a condition which therefore is to be feared, view it instead as being reflective of the natural neurological diversity inherent in humanity, carrying unique challenges as well as strengths…. Society is considerably more aware of autism now than when I was growing up, and the diagnostic criteria for autism have evolved considerably since then. There is good reason to believe that these factors are behind the increase in prevalence. Nonetheless, diagnostic disparities persist for people of color and those assigned female at birth which continues to raise questions about bias in the diagnostic process. For example, some autistic women I know have said that they were initially misdiagnosed because the same criteria used to evaluate autistic males had wrongly been applied to them. The numbers are headed in the right direction, though more work remains to be done in leveling the playing field for all.