They cling to this belief even though the fact that one identical twin has an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis does not necessarily mean that the other twin will also have an ASD. For many with the "it's gotta be genetic" mindset no explanation, no study, no evidence will budge them.
For everyone else in the world though Dr. Harvey Singer of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore who, with his colleagues, has studied the effects of mice that developed autistic like behaviors after being exposed before birth to antibodies from mothers of autistic children, has some wise words to share with us. Dr. Singer is quoted in a Reuters article Mother's antibodies may contribute to autism :
"Autism is a complex disorder and it would be naïve to assume there's a single mechanism that can cause it. It's most likely the cumulative effect of several factors, including genes, metabolism, and the environment. We believe we have identified one of those factors."
I am pleased any time I see such a sensible perspective offered about autism by someone with the knowledge and credibility to have his comments be given serious weight and consideration. Here in Canada our autism research community, and our CIHR, are dominated by a small Montreal based neuroscience elite that still leans heavily towards the outdated "it's gotta be genetic" view of autism that Teresa Binstock cautioned against a decade ago. There is an Autism Research Paradigm Shift taking place ... in the United States ... if not in Canada.
Once again, I must thank our American friends for offering informed, sensible information about the nature of autism disorders, their possible causes and interventions.