If autism is really getting worse, then I would expect that more children would be just sitting there staring like the worst case of autism. On the other hand if they are playing with definitions or diagnoses, then you will have more kids diagnosed with autism but no more cases of kids completely detached from the world.
Autism is a spectrum disorder
If the studies say that 80% of the cases diagnosed are on the severe end of the spectrum, then you can be sure it is not just kids acting “flighty”
I suggest you volunteer some time at a group that works with autistic kids if you think kids are just too active undisciplined and misunderstood, or can be coached into fooling the doctors who diagnose them
I have to suspect an environmental factor is causing this, our body tissues are loaded with toxins from the environment and the products we consume or just use everyday
and a tiny effect on a fetus at a critical day of its development can be devastating
My son bears the facial features of a child whose birth mother consumed alcohol during a 3 day window of his fetal development when his facial features were being formed