Autism is often identified as an epidemic. This position is held by charities that depend upon this perception to fund their activities. Autism is framed by the (often) non-autistic people who run these organizations as a rampant and increasingly prevalent disease state that needs to be controlled, cured and eventually eradicated. In this view, autistic people are an unfortunate burden and the lives of all would be better if autism could be vanquished.
This point of view is typically not shared by those who are autistic, as you might imagine. They see autism not as an rapidly increasing disease, but as a normally occurring state, present in a relatively fixed percentage of the population. In this view, autism is more obvious, more diagnosed, more discussed, more exposed, but not, in real terms, growing any faster than the population at large.
This graphic looks at the reality behind the autism epidemic and not just the hype. Clarity on the epidemic issue can help us all focus on what is most important: to improve the lives of all.
[The infographic links to a PDF version that you may distribute unaltered without restriction.]