My Mum said this to me the other day, 'Society is becoming autistic'. (We love psycho-babble in my family). She's really into something called 'Human Givens' (a form of psychotherapy) and read in a journal recently that extreme environmental conditions (i.e. Eastern European orphanages/British care homes) can trigger Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism (remember Rain Man? Incidentally, Dustin Hoffman is my Mum's favourite actor).
My Mum - or Debbie as she is more widely known - and a number of Human Givens practitioners seem to think that we are becoming more susceptible to conditions such as autism because as a society we are losing emotional intelligence.
They partly attribute this to our co-dependence on technology which is lessening face-to-face interactions. MIT social scientist and psychologist Sherry Turkle agrees that this - what she calls 'tech-tethering' is having a detrimental effect on our interpersonal relationships, independence and soft skills.