Wendy Chung: TED talk from 2014, some of the statistical numbers have changed but a good overview of the difficulty of finding “the cause(s)” of Autism

Article detailing research to identify and study factors that may put a child at rick for developing Autism


US Department of Health and Human Service


Causes of Autism

A risk factor is something that raises your chances of getting a health problem.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can happen with or without any of the risks listed below.

The more that are present, the higher the chances that ASD can develop.

There is no known way to change your child’s risk for ASD.

There has been much attention in the media about a link between ASD and vaccines. This is partly because of a vaccine preservative called thimerosal. No studies have found any link between vaccines and ASD.

Other factors that make the risk higher:


ASD tends to run in families..

  • Having a sibling with ASD
  • Having certain genetic conditions—people with conditions such as Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Rett syndrome are more likely than others to have ASD

Age of Parents

Either parent 35 years or older can make the risk of ASD in a child higher. The risk goes up with a parent’s age.

Problems from Pregnancy or Birth

Mothers who had problems during pregnancy or birth may raise the risk of ASD risk in their children. This may include:

Environmental Factors