Autism Spectrum Australia

What causes autism?

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Autism has no single, known cause. Given the complexity of the condition, and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there are probably many causes. Both genetics and environment may play a role. There is no evidence that autism is caused by a child’s upbringing or social circumstances.

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Is there a cure for autism?

There is no known cure for autism. However, an early diagnosis and targeted intervention can assist in reducing the impact of a child’s autism on their functioning.

Autism and vaccines

No proven link between vaccines and autism:
One of the greatest controversies in autism is centered on whether a link exists between autism and certain childhood vaccines, particularly the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Despite extensive research, no reliable study has shown a link between autism and the MMR vaccine


Several genes appear to be involved in autism. Some may make a child more susceptible to the condition. Others affect brain development or the way that brain cells communicate.

Still others may determine the severity of symptoms. Each problem in genes may account for a small number of cases, but taken together, the influence of genes is likely substantial. Some genetic problems seem to be inherited, while others happen spontaneously.

Environmental factors

Researchers are currently exploring whether such factors as viral infections, complications during pregnancy and air pollutants play a role in triggering autism.

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For an interesting read on the perceived increase in the prevlence and/or diagnosis of Autism, click here to read a Blog by Vicki Gibbs, Aspect National Manager of Research and Assessments.

Back to About the autism spectrum

What causes autism?