Diagnosis of autism and theory of the cause

Hi everyone, 

My name is Ruby and I am currently taking part in an independent research project called an EPQ for a sixth form project. My question is, “which theories exist that attempt to explain the causes of Autism?”

I would like to gather research on what you believe the causes of autism are, and if there even are any

  • Hi Ruby,

    It's great that you are interested in autism. 

    There's lots of information about different theories in this article:


    Not totally up to date, but published quite recently (2016) 

  • Hello again Ruby 

    As far as my personal theories go, seeing autistic traits in my parents and children supports the theory of some kind of genetic difference.

    It's worth noting that for many autistic peeiple there are more pressing questions than the causes of autism. The question you posed is sometimes asked because people think autism needs to be prevented and autistic people need to be cured. 

    Speaking personally a more interesting and important question is: 'How can society adapt so that autistic people have equal access to education, employment, housing, health and social care, participation in policy and decision-making, leisure activities and family life?' 

    Check out Twitter for some interesting observations from #ActuallyAutistic people.

    Good luck with your EPQ! 

  • There are so many different presentations grouped together as autism, from barely noticeable to severely disabling. With that in mind, it's unlikely that there's one single cause for autism, though I'm sure genetics play a big part. I've never heard of anyone becoming autistic, though (or only from loony anti-vaxxers); it's something we're born with.