I think that we are eventually — soon, hopefully — going to discover that classical autism involves brain-based issues yet to-be discovered. When (and, of course, if) those issues are discovered, the idea of an autism “spectrum” will be superfluous. A child will either be autistic or he will simply be peculiar in certain ways (which describes lots of children and even a good number of otherwise functional adults).
But given those circumstances, I predict that the mental health industry will simply rename “autism spectrum disorder” and continue to peddle the spurious notion that being even slightly odd requires professional and perhaps even pharmaceutical “treatment.” Speaking as a former peculiar child, I’d like to thank all those teachers who believed in the idea of children eventually “growing out of” their eccentricities (albeit in my case, the proposition is arguable).
Visit family psychologist John Rosemond’s website at www.johnrosemond.com; readers may send him email at email@example.com; due to the volume of mail, not every question will be answered.