Autism: Facts and Fiction

A look at what's true--and what's not--about this increasingly common disorder (12 Photos)

Karen Springen on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:27PM

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Autism: Facts and Fiction

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Vaccines Cause Autism

Myth. “There is no evidence in the scientific literature to suggest that vaccines cause autism—period,” says Dr. Susan Hyman, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ autism subcommittee. The idea originated in 1998, when a study in The Lancet (recently retracted) linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism. Since autism was first identified in 1943, people have mistakenly blamed it on everything from being Jewish to having vinyl floors, says psychologist Ronald Leaf, co-founder and co-director of Autism Partnership. “We really don’t know what it is. It’s probably like most disorders—a combination of genetics and environment.”

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