Read the most advanced science of autism causes here. Bypass the commenterati and go direct to the science. Don't waste your time at the sites which pretend "no-one" knows what causes (or what sometimes cures) autism.
This is a website relating to the unchallenged theory of autism, IQ and genius, Personality and Individual Differences 14:459-482 (1993) by Robin P Clarke (the antiinnatia theory). An update review paper is being prepared for publication. Meanwhile you can download the original 1993 publication (presentationally revised) here, and the original 1993 publication (author's reprint) here . (the journal site version is here:, but without added charts of social class and you may have to pay Elsevier $31.)

The Neurodiversity / Autism Pride movement

Since I published that first paper, one development that has been enabled by the emergence of the www (and blogs in particular) has been the neurodiversity or autism pride movement. This rightly says that many autistics (or at least people with a moderate degree of the autistic/Asperger syndrome) are perfectly happy and functional as they are and do not want to be "cured" of their personality. Indeed they rightly point out the shortcomings of mere "neurotypicals".

They reasonably reject the notion that they have a "disorder".

So far so good, but some then go on, like all good fanatics, to take a dogmatically exaggerated position. Supposedly autism is never really a problem, and no autistics need curing. And not being a problem it (supposedly logically) "therefore" cannot be caused by a toxin such as mercury. Their fanaticism thus leads them to devote their lives (perhaps subsidised by vaccine mfrs) to half-baked nitpicking of everything that evidences mercury or an increase of autism.

They then go on to make out that the great scientists who have done so much to help the problem of autism, namely those involved in DAN! (defeat autism now) are a load of evil greed-driven liars.

All this is a pathetic unnecessary exhibition of black-white stereotyping by these attitude-driven fanatics. Many people are not handicapped by their autisticness. But meanwhile there are many who are severely devastated by it. There is room in the world for both these facts to be true simultaneously. None of the heroic DAN! practitioners have ever said that any autistics must be forced to accept treatment.

And no one wanting to get rich would choose to do so by clashing head-on against the medical establishment.

"Offensive" / " inappropriate" language about autism

When I first started sending manuscripts to journals, I once got back a reply that it was offensive to use the term "autistics". Instead one has to ramble on about "children with autism" (which is probably why so many people assume that autism is confined to children, and is something that one either "has" or does not "have"). Meanwhile it has become the standard practice of the same people to refer to autism and related conditions as "autism spectrum disorder", or ASD. There's even a journal called the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Now I may be just a twit but I would have thought that referring to autism as being a disorder must be genuinely offensive, given that so many autistics do not want to be "cured" of the "disorder" they supposedly have. And meanwhile let's not be big hypocritical babies unable to usefully call a spade anything shorter than "tool for digging".

Persons with femaleness.
Persons with generosity.
Persons with racism.
Persons with Britishness.
Persons with Protestantism.
Persons with degrees.
Persons with professorships.
Persons with elderliness.
Autistics with childness.

In addition, the terminology of "autistic spectrum" I find very unhelpful, because it gives a false impression of having only one dimension of variability. In reality the autistic syndrome is a rather multidimensional thing, which would be best referred to as just that. It naturally includes those diagnosed as Aspergers and also those with just one or two features of the syndrome (such as the communication disabilities noted in siblings of the Rutter/Folstein twin study).