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How did autism shift from being a rare disorder, occurring in 3 in 10,000 people to an "epidemic," occurring in 1 in 166 people? UNSTRANGE MINDS: Remapping the World of AUTISM, a global study of autism by Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropologist and father of a child with autism, answers this question.
I like to think that this is what is happening to people with autism. As the general public learns to understand and appreciate people with autism, the autistic person is no longer strange or foreign. He or she is, instead, unstrange.
Somewhere in the not too distant past, those who were the “antivaxers” or “anti-vaccine advocates” started to characterize themselves as “pro-vaccine-safety advocates.” As Mike Stanton notes, the organizers of the Green Our Vaccines rally sound like their old anti-vaccine selves. But “pro” has positive overtones: Better to be for something and who can object to making things—vaccines—safe? (In the abortion debate, it’s “pro-choice” and “pro-life”—-who wants to be “anti-life” or “anti-choice”?)