My wife sent an article about the new numbers on Autism Spectrum Disorders - 1 in 88 now. At the site, paired as a "you-may-also-be-interested" article is one on similar increases in ADHD diagnoses. So the younger generation continues to go to hell, impeded only by the shortage of handbaskets, apparently.
Conservative sites, even those with mental health professionals writing, often disparage such statistics. It's not only conservatives, actually - lots of people seen convince a priori that we are diagnosing near-normal behavior that has always been present in children and making it sound worse than it is. Lots of kids are fidgety/spacey/awkward/bullies. We just give it a name and call it an illness now. I grant some truth to that, but essentially disagree.
But that's another story. The fun here is the correlation/causation and what-exactly-are-we-measuring problems that Bethany has been talking about over at Bad Data, Bad! The headline says "autism," but the study is about Autism Spectrum Disorders - not the same thing. But it is in the comments that people really spread themselves. One thinks that screen-based media is interfering with proper dreaming and impeding brain development. That could be. Another thinks that genetically-modified organisms are causing it. That could be. Aspartame, opioids, missing amino acids, gluten, leaky gut syndrome...and I haven't even gotten to vaccinations. They all could be.* But evidence, let alone proof is very hard to nail down. People "feel" things. Folks "just think" that "fooling around with nature" must be the cause, somehow.
One or more might indeed turn out to be true. One group of people predicting the end of the world is going to turn out to be right, too - simply because there's always someone claiming it, and the world will eventually end. I don't think God is going to give them especial credit for dumb luck, but someone will get it right. So too with autism theories. Well, it's going to turn out to be something, and it will be some theory that someone eventually had.
*Older birth fathers and genetics have already shown some actual evidence as causes.