We woke up to a different world on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. With barely any notice, the autism community heard that the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children's Health would be holding a hearing entitled, "State of Research on Potential Environmental Health Factors with Autism and Related Neurodevelopment Disorders."
As someone who follows autism in the news, this was a shock. I'm used to stories like the recent series published on the Psychology Today blog by Dr. James Coplan. He couldn't make it any clearer. Autism is something that has always been around--we've just expanded the definition and doctors are better at recognizing it. The numbers haven't increased.