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.)

Gradual regression notably in line with the theory's gradual causation

It has this month been reported that the regressive form of autism does not tend to have an abrupt start (as commonly perceived, especially by those blaming vaccines for causing a sudden start of the condition). Instead the condition develops gradually from age 6 months up to 3 years (and possibly onwards as the study stopped there).

This is of course very compatible with the causation proposed in the update review of the antiinnatia theory, because that causation itself does not strike suddenly (like a vaccination shot) but instead builds up gradually with the infant's cumulating constant inhalation [breathing in] of the mother's dental mercury vapor.

The accompanying observation that parents tend to under-perceive their child's abnormality can be simply understood in terms of the universal natural reluctance to believe bad news. Which for a parent who already has an autistic child, is even badder news.

Flawed study of adult autism in UK

The NHS has recently published a study of the extent of adult autism in the UK ("Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England - Report from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007").

It supposedly shows that there has not been any real increase of autism over recent decades. This is the same NHS that's just made a huge scare-campaign in support of the swine-flu scam, and that gives its endorsement to the fraudulent SCENIHR report as supposedly proving the safety of dental amalgams, even despite numerous people pointing out the falsities of that report.

This autism report is also unacceptably flawed. Some of the flaws are detailed at this campaigning website (at which some of the other content is itself flawed wishful-thinking):

I myself had dismissed the NHS report for the simpler reason that there is no way indicated of establishing comparability of a test applied to children and a test (even if the same one) applied to adults. Update: You can see in the later published Arch Gen Psychiat version that the diagnostic procedure was a very subjective one (dependent on extended group "training"), rather than a mechanically objective box-ticking or bean-counting exercise. This is reflected in how they went to considerable lengths to assure the reliability of the diagnostic procedure. And yet they did nothing to ensure the (infinitely more important) validity of comparability with others' finding at different ages and different decades. And that's because with a non-longitudinal study it is impossible to establish that. It follows that the survey is evidence of nothing, but only leaves the question open of that comparability.

Oh, and they found that none of the adult "autistics" had previously been identified. Which would not be surprising to those who can have a pretty firm guess that they weren't really pathological cases anyway, in shocking contrast to the deluge of cases now constituting a very un-overlookable national emergency in capitalist-corporate-dominated countries.

I welcome the additional critiques raised by childsafetyhealth. Another critical review can be found in issue 34 of The Autism File. It's a shame that taxpayer money only gets wasted on producing and promoting such worthless rubbish as this NHS/ Leicester univ study, when there are plenty more competent people and ideas around.

"Whose side is Robin P Clarke on?"

Since the publication of the theory, three entrenched factions have appeared in the autism causation world. A first faction believes autism can never be a problem, so cannot need curing or be a disability. A second faction believes that vaccines, either MMR or mercury-containing thimerosal (or latestly Hep-B) have caused autism to increase. A third faction is the corporate medical establishment which promotes the idea that autism is a primarily genetic disorder and that the increase is not real but just the effect of increased awareness or diagnosis.

My involvement in autism research pre-dates all these factions and I partly disagree with all of them, but also partly agree with them all. I see some sound work from all of them and also some abysmally unsound work from all of them. I'm not in the business of taking sides. I judge publications on their reasoning and evidence rather than the partisanship of the conclusions or authors. In my experience as an author of theories, I have to conclude that it is very rare for even biased parties to actually falsify their raw data; if they did so it would be impossible for my theories to so comfortably accommodate them as they do.

Meanwhile, I do see from all sides wildly perverse interpretations (or misrepresentations?) of what that data tells us, and displays of stupendous incompetence (or disingenuousness?) from all sides. But I leave to others to speculate what if any motives or secret conspiracies may lie behind these discrepancies. In my view it usually (outside of therapeutic trials for instance) remains the case that scientific questions are best answered by reference to just the published (and "unpublished") scientific evidence, with only the most occasional "pinch of salt".

Lisa Blakemore-Brown

There aren't many heroes in autism research but Lisa Blakemore-Brown is certainly one. (part 2 here)
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