Defining the Generations of Autism

I’m a Grandfather Aspie

Basically, I was diagnosed Aspie in the 90’s and then the diagnostic criteria changed, so for a while I didn’t qualify

Then my original diagnosis still counted, and it was given a title. Grandfather Aspie

I just searched for the article i saw this in, though and i couldn’t find it, by which I mean I didn’t find it on the first google search page

Which by law of availability means it is not relevant or even existing

Completely logical argument

Also cause I tend to prefer audio information, so anything i have to read requires that much more effort to get into my brain

Guess that’s the grandfather in me

I’m getting a new cousin any day now, for the first time in nearly twenty years

That’s the best was to feel old, better than any meme

see what new life looks like from the moment it is deemed to have begun

Since ASD was fist described in Nazi Occupied Austria, in the 1940’s depending on the number of years you put to a generation, there have been between 3-4 generations of Possible Diagnostic cases

1 was 1940-1960

2 was 1960-1980

3 was 1980-2000

4 is 2000-2020

Have these ever been named?

Let’s name them

1st was Kanner’s wave

3rd was Lorna’s wave

2nd and 4th are not ones that immediately come to mind

and even the 3rd wave isn’t quite accurate

Perhaps Batch numbers?

Batch 1, 2, 3, 4?

Do generations based on years even make sense?

After all, the earlier diagnostic criteria missed a lot of people, and each progressive wave has included more and more, as the ability to detect has become more nuanced

IF that was the case, we would go by the dating of the different version on the DSM

According to Wikipedia, there have been 5, of which the first was released in the 1950’s

and then one was released on average every 7 years, but not every 7 years was there a complete revamp of the DSM

Having a look here we see that not each of these updates gave autism it’s own unique categorisation until the 1980’s

Then 12 years Later, the changes resulted in a sisemic shift in how we saw the condition, more so than had happened in all the years preceding it

Perhaps it would be better to divide the times into before Neurodiversity and after neurodiversity.


Side note, received email informing that my application to a thing had not been successful

I’d prepared for that eventuality, it’s the world, you need to, but somehow this one stung more than I expected it to

Guess I still have some work unpacking and managing my expectations


The term is often attributed to Jim Sinclair in 1993, a year after DSM 4

Jim was one of the first properly celebrated self advocates, as far as I am aware

Perhaps this is as good a place to start?

So, Pre-Neurod and Post-Neurod.

And Pre diagnostic?

That delves in to the realm of the retro diagnosis, and we don’t have enough space here just yet to unpack the implications of that one

The convenience of making the distinction here is that the was we viewed autism fundamentally shifted in 1992

The boom in diagnosing that started this year is a phenomena that we are still seeing the repercussions of even now

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