I write about autism a lot. Much of what I write has to do with autism-related research, and I keep tabs on what comes down the pipeline every day–because a new autism finding turns up every day. Some of it seems pretty reasonable, but a few things I’ve seen linked to autism–always a mathematical relationship, never a causative one–just leave a reader thinking, “Eh?,” possibly with a little stereotypical head-scratching added in. Or maybe the occasional throwing of items within reach.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a list. Here are the 10 weirdest–and in some cases, most dangerous–factors I’ve seen linked to autism.
1. No worms. Without question, my all-time favorite autism-linked factor has to be “an absence of worms.” It’s a wriggly hypothesis that lacks even a correlation to drive it, but it sure did get a lot of attention. I can confirm anecdatally that I’ve never heard of an autistic person who had worms, but I also haven’t known non-autistic people who have, either.