Autism spectrum disorder has risen in prevalence from 1 in 5000 children in 1975 to 1 in 36 children in 2016, and the rate has been doubling every 3-4 years in the last decade in the US.
There is no economy in the world that can withstand this level of disability. Nature always has a silver lining, though. As we support the recovery of health in this generation of ASD kids, we see that they are wired to see themselves, humanity, and the world differently. I will not be surprised to discover in these coming decades that it will be these children that reinvent technology, and society itself for a regenerative nature.
Look no further than the extraordinary career and thought leadership of Temple Grandin for just such an example of a humanitarian with a keen insight into everything from child rearing, to education, to engineering, to animal husbandry, all delivered with a refreshingly candid and non-empathetic wit. A breath of fresh air and hope. We must speed up our research and discovery of the resources that will raise this generation of kids to their fullest potential, and then we need to listen to them carefully.