BBC reports that Autism 'more common than thought':
"'Prevalence of autism and related ASDs is substantially higher than previously recognised.
'Whether the increase is due to better ascertainment, broadening diagnostic criteria, or increased incidence is unclear."
Note the lack of distinction between "some form of ASD", and "a lifelong disability" - the blurring of continuum and thresholded abnormality. Rates are going up, but is it a genuine increase, a broader classification scheme, or simply a desire to classify?
Normality is against the norm. Rejoice in your deficiencies and peculiarities!
Extraness: The Mind Hacks blog has a good rundown too, making the excellent point:
"Having one of these diagnoses entitles children to special educational support or even a place in an expensive yet well-supported special school in many areas of the UK."
..and generally linking "objective" diagnosis with "societal" (and hence subjective) needs.