Resources for Teachers and Allied Health Professionals

Etiology (Causal factors)

  • Environmental factors: Pollution

Exposure of Pregnant Women to Airborne Pollutants including Diesel and Mercury


  • Pregnancy, Birth and Neonatal Complications increased risk of autism

Over 60 perinatal and neonatal factors were examined. Factors associated with autism risk in the meta-analysis were abnormal presentation, umbilical-cord complications, fetal distress, birth injury or trauma, multiple birth, maternal hemorrhage, summer birth, low birth weight, small for gestational age, congenital malformation, low 5-minute Apgar score, feeding difficulties, meconium aspiration, neonatal anemia, ABO or Rh incompatibility, and hyperbilirubinemia. Factors not associated with autism risk included anesthesia, assisted vaginal delivery, postterm birth, high birth weight, and head circumference. Pediatrics 2011 V128, p344-355

  • Genetic studies looking for genetic markers in families with autism:

Human Molecular Genetics 2012 Volume 21, p3513-3523

Human Molecular Genetics 2013 Volume 22, p2870-2880

Human Molecular Genetics 2013 Volume 22, p 2960-2972


  • Genetic link for increased serotonin levels in autism (serotonin is involved in regulation of biological functions including emotional behaviour, sleep, pain sensitivity, hormone release and plays a crucial role in brain development)

Human Genetics 2007 Volume 121, p243-256


  • THE AUSTRALIAN 17th Feb 2014  Content from The Sunday Times:

    Measles map exposes global fallout of an autism scare campaign


    THE legacy of the discredited research by MMR scare doctor Andrew Wakefield has been exposed by a map showing spikes in cases of preventable childhood diseases in areas across the globe where anti-vaccine campaigners are active. Laurie Garrett, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, who assembled the data for the interactive map, said there was growing evidence that “Wakefieldism” had become a worldwide phenomenon.


Intellectual Development in Autism: Severe Social-Communicative Impairments in Autism (which may impact on the individual's ability to process informaiton) associated with higher risk of Intellectual Disability and Poor Outcome (challenging previous assumption that Autism and Intellectual Disability often co-occur but are unrelated to each other)

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2013 Volume 7, Article 354


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