My personal theory of autism...
Autism is a consequence of civilization. As the evolutionary course of our species is forced further and further down a materialistic path of our own making, more incidents of this condition will occur. As we continue to embrace the hyper-accelerated, economy-based, techno-riddled, market-driven, psychologically twisted alterations we've made to life on Earth, some souls will rebel. Some children born into this world we've worked so hard to civilize will reject our efforts on instinct and automatically divert their psyches to a more core, pre-logical, animal sense of our place in the universe. It is well known that autistic people and animals share strange affinities not available to non-autistic individuals.
I'm not a Luddite shaking a finger at civilization with this theory. No. I'm just acknowledging that there is an order that is deeper than the one we're manufacturing for ourselves. Of course we are free to alter this order. Free to play with it. But as we are learning, there are consequences to ignoring certain aspects of our makeup in favor of others as we go. For example, I believe in the soul and I believe that we are generally terrified of its mystery (or stymied as to how to fit it into our material world). I believe we have denied the soul an appropriate role in our collective evolution and so our balance teeters.
To be clear, this IS the world we've made. This IS our evolution. This might be as balanced as we'll ever be. Furthermore, you could argue that the intricate world we are building was born of a certain "autistic focus" in us and that the future will require much more of it. I would encourage us to pay attention to whatever it might be that autism-sufferers are protecting from the reality they perceive around them.