Penny Spikins, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology of Human Origins at the University of York,? has written in an extremely interesting article on the important role of our autistic ancestors in human evolution.
The article mentions that autism and autism traits have long been a part of human history. Some of the key autism genes are a part of our shared ape heritage and other autism genes are more recent in evolutionary terms.
These links from our past indicate that autism has an evolutionary basis, and has shaped the course of human progress. The article which appears in The Conversation (www.theconversation.com) provides more detailed insight.