A lot of kids diagnosed with autism would previously have been diagnosed with general mental retardation.  Now genetic testing is finding that some kids with autism diagnoses have specific genetic deletions/duplications.  Does that mean that they’re not really autistic and “autism” was a misdiagnosis? Or that “autistic” will turn out to be a useful umbrella term for a bunch of different things?  My vote is for the latter…

Searching for similar diagnoses through DNA testing

The article stresses both the relief families find at meeting other families with similarly affected kids, and the distress they experience at seeing the degree of impairment that older children with the same problems (still) have. And there’s a demonstration of the way gender roles play in to who can back out of their responsibilities and who can’t – note the one father who decided to pick up and leave a week after a conference for families with affected kids, leaving the mom to raise their affected daughter alone.