This is a link to a different thread. I hope that's ok. As the parent of an autistic child, I have a few differences of opinion with Mr. Savage. While it is true that his comments were taken somewhat out of context, they are still wrong even when that context is supplied. Note that he spoke at length about autism, but in his later explanation he claimed that he was speaking about ASD, (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). Autism is a neurological disorder, not a psychological or psychiatric one. My son was diagnosed with ASD by a neurologist when he was 3. This is a typical age for such a diagnosis. The diagnosis was confirmed by the same neurologist when he was older, I forget what age. More recently at the age of 13 he was diagnosed by a psychologist as being autistic. Although a strong case was made for autism, the fact that the doctor was not a neurologist makes it somewhat suspect. My son can be described by the nebulous term "high functioning". He requires no supervision in the daily routine of his life, but he does require special education and a shadow at school. A shadow is like a babysitter who keeps him focused on the work before him. He has no extraordinary skills like those portrayed in the movie Rainman. In many ways he is easier to raise than his older sister who has no symptoms of autism. The diagnosis for autism consists of a Chinese menu of symptoms. If you have 2 from column A, 3 from column B, etc, then the diagnosis is made. You can read the diagnosis in the book DSM-IV. The question arises, what if you have many of the symptoms, but not enough for the diagnosis. This is where the spectrum comes into play. I don't know the diagnosis for ASD, but it is only correctly applied to those who are not autistic, and there is where Mr. Savage comes closest to having a point. A diagnosis of ASD means not autistic, so what is the word autistic doing in the name? In my opinion the answer is Rainman put it there. More money is available for children with ASD than would be if it were called Pervasive Developmental Delay, the old name for ASD. Indeed, an early diagnosis my son got was PDD. This was by a teacher of autistic children and not by a doctor of any kind. He also got Sensory Disintigrative DIsorder by another teacher. These are synonyms for ASD. In Mr. Savage's weak explanation of his ridiculous earlier remarks concerning autism, he claimed that a diagnosis of ASD was often incorrect, sometimes being made in cases where the child was merely more intelligent than average. I have no statistics on how often misdiagnosis is made. I do think that it is being made in the case of Einstein, Newton, Dirac, Gates, and other famous intelligent people. In my son's case, there is no issue of misdiagnosis. You may prefer the name PDD over ASD, but that is nothing more than an issue of semantics and money. To imply that my son was misdiagnosed or that I need to tell him to stop acting like a girl is to take yourself out of a serious discussion.