Is Asperger’s A Vanishing Diagnosis That’s Already Lost Its Meaning?

Benjamin Wallace, writing in New York Magazine about Asperger’s and its use, overuse, and abuse as a term, begins his lengthy piece with a question from the late Nora Ephron:

Is every man in America somewhere on it?” Nora Ephron wondered about the autism spectrum in an e-mail to a friend a few months before her death. “Is every producer on it? Is every 8-year-old boy who is obsessed with statistics on it? Sometimes, when we say someone is on the spectrum, do we just mean he’s a prick? Or a pathological narcissist? I notice that at least three times a week I am told (or I tell someone) that some man or other is on the spectrum.”

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