Disability and Representation

Changing the Cultural Conversation

Studies Prove It: Autism is Linked to Being a Carbon-Based Life Form

I’ve started compiling a list of all of the studies that link autism to… well, everything. I tend to find most of these studies unconvincing, to put it mildly, and when I look at them in list form, I have to remind myself that I’m not looking at works of satire. In fact, I have to remember that, at this absurd historical moment, a bunch of people actually get money for doing this kind of research, and that they are not embarrassed to associate their names with it.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I look over this list, all I can see is a whole lot of researchers jumping on the gravy train that is my neurology. Not that I’m insulted. In fact, I’m deeply honored that my neurology is a source of income for so many. After all, I wouldn’t want to see autism researchers lacking for food, shelter, and social status.

So carry on, people. Of course, at some point, you might consider making a living researching the sorts of things that would actually help people such as myself. Because, you see, when you reach my age, it just plain doesn’t matter whether you have autism because your mother sucked too many exhaust fumes when she was pregnant, or let you sit too close to the color TV, or was stressed out and depressed while you were in utero, or was abducted by little green men from Mars. (No, there hasn’t been a study linking autism to alien abductions. Yet.)

So if you all could do some studies on why typical folk have such a hard time providing access and employment to disabled people, or why they think you’re lying about your disability because you look perfectly normal, or why they won’t slow down for 10 seconds to talk to a person with a different communication profile, I’d be ever so grateful. These are the questions that plague me. Where autism comes from? Not so much.

Here is the list. I will be updating it for some time, apparently.

13 things ‘linked’ to autism
Age of mother affects child’s autism risk

Ambient Air Pollution and Autism in Los Angeles County, California
Amino-Acid Deficiency Found to Underlie Rare Form of Autism
An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism
Autism and baby size linked
Autism and early exposure to traffic pollution linked
Autism And Pollution Study Links Autism With Prenatal Exposure To Traffic Pollution
Autism, asthma, inflammation, and the hygiene hypothesis
Autism Caused by Depression of Mothers?
Autism linked to difficult birth
Autism linked to gut bacteria, study finds
Autism Linked To Industrial Food Or Environment
Autism Linked To Moms’ Antidepressant Use
Autism Researchers Discover ‘Epigenetic’ Changes
Autism risk may be revealed in babies’ cries
AUTISM: Does head size provide the clue?
Birth Complications and Autism
Can Cell Phones Cause Autism?
Can low cholesterol cause autism?
Can We Blame Rain for the Autistic Brain?
Chemicals found in plastics linked to Autism
Children conceived in winter have a greater risk of autism, study finds
Children with autism have distinct facial features
Clinical research: Twin study links low birth weight to autism
Does Pet Shampoo Cause Autism? Let’s Hope Not…
Excessive Protein Synthesis Linked To Autistic-Like Behaviors
Extremely premature infants more likely to test positive for autism
Father’s Age Is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia
Finger length related to autism!
Flu, fever linked with autism in pregnancy study
Head Size Tied to Regressive Autism in Boys
High Birth Weight in Children with ASD and Their Unaffected Siblings
Is Autism a Prenatal Parasite-Deficiency Syndrome?
Is Autism Statistically Linked to Early Non-Maternal Child Care?
Is excess folic acid supplementation a risk factor for autism?
IVF Linked to Autism, Israeli Study Suggests
Large study finds ‘baby sibs’ at high risk of autism
Later-born children at higher risk for autism
Link Found Between Child Prodigies and Autism
Living Near a Highway May Contribute to Autism Risk
Magnesium Deficiency and Autism
Major Stress During Pregnancy Linked To Autism
MAO-A Theory of Autism
Medical journal: Study linking autism, vaccines is ‘elaborate fraud’
Men who don’t find curvy women attractive ‘could father children with autism’
Mom’s Obesity, Diabetes Linked with Autism and Developmental Delays
Neuroscientist Links Autism with Internet Use
New Evidence Links Immune Irregularities to Autism, Mouse Study Suggests
New Study Implicates Environmental Factors in Autism
Newborn blood may reveal early immune signs of autism
NIH-funded Study Shows Pre-birth Brain Growth Problems Linked to Autism
Perinatal Risk Factors for Infantile Autism
Refrigerator Mothers
Researcher sees link between vitamin D, autism
Scientific Study Links Anti-depressants In Drinking Water To Autism
Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring
Scientists Find Link Between Autism and Brainwaves
Scientists Link Gene Mutation to Autism Risk
Severity of Autism Linked to Length of Pregnancy
Sibling spacing may be tied to autism risk
Study links autism, diabetes in pregnancy
Study links folic acid to lower autism risk
Study: Autism risk tied to mom’s obesity during pregnancy
Study finds new evidence that vitamin D decreases risk of autism in children
Top 10 Chemicals Most Likely to Cause Autism and Learning Disabilities
Tuna and autism for unborn child – link?
TV Implicated In Rise Of Autism
TV Really Might Cause Autism
Use of Birth Certificates to Examine Maternal Occupational Exposures and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring
Wi-Fi linked to childhood autism
Women Abused as Children More Likely to Have Kids with Autism

© 2012 by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg


  1. 11/29/2012 | 6:48 am Permalink


  2. 11/29/2012 | 12:06 pm Permalink


    “Autism, asthma, inflammation, and the hygiene hypothesis”

    My apologies if this one is already included in the above list.

    • 11/29/2012 | 2:17 pm Permalink

      Hi Amy, thanks for the link. I had not seen that one before. I’ve now added it to the list. :-)

  3. 11/29/2012 | 1:37 pm Permalink

    I have it on very good authority from a good friend who knows a thingertwo that the REAL cause of autism is FLUORIDATED WATER. I tell you, those dentists are out to get us all!

    • 11/29/2012 | 10:12 pm Permalink

      Rachel, I love your witty (and wise) perspective! Bob’s comment reminds me of that crazy General in the movie “Dr. Strangelove.” Mostly, thanks so much for providing this resource.

  4. 11/29/2012 | 11:15 pm Permalink

    Wait, wifi? How? What?
    Computers are good for autistic people in many cases, but that doesn’t mean that computer stuff causes autism…

  5. 11/29/2012 | 11:16 pm Permalink

    Don’t forget Pitocin and epidurals. http://www.autismcoach.com/Articles.asp?ID=262

    • 11/30/2012 | 12:13 am Permalink

      Thank you! I’ll add this one, too.

  6. 11/29/2012 | 11:36 pm Permalink

    This is a fun one for laughs, obviously a spoof article. Made me smile!

    • 11/30/2012 | 12:12 am Permalink

      I’ve seen that one! I love it. :-)

  7. 12/1/2012 | 4:55 am Permalink

    Ran into another one: “Is excess folic acid supplementation a risk factor for autism?”


    I’m not looking for them, but my subconscious search engine is running. I may be back. ;)

    • 12/1/2012 | 10:37 am Permalink

      And the hits just keep on coming… :-)

  8. 12/6/2012 | 5:06 am Permalink


    Here’s one I ran across a couple years ago:

    Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring


    It struck me as so funny at the time. It states, “Infants or toddlers who lived in bedrooms with vinyl, or PVC, floors were twice as likely to have autism five years later, in 2005, than those with wood or linoleum flooring.”

    First of all, who has vinyl floors in a kid’s bedroom anyway? Realistic sample size… 1?

    “Baffling” ha ha

    • 12/6/2012 | 1:38 pm Permalink

      OMG. I had vinyl flooring as a kid. That explains everything! ;-)

      Thanks for the link. I will add it to the ever-growing list.

  9. 12/12/2012 | 1:52 am Permalink

    Amen Sister. Thanks for the pick-me-up perspective!

  10. 12/12/2012 | 4:28 am Permalink

    There is a parallel book to yours, called “Autism All-Stars”, ed. by Josie Montano. Each chapter was written by a different person on the spectrum, including Temple Grandin, Stephen Shore, Donna Williams…. (and me).

    Temple was going to put out a similar publication but I haven’t heard of its having been published yet. It’s great to see these collections coming out that are so accessible for everyone!

  11. 1/2/2013 | 2:21 am Permalink

    My wife’s a developmental therapist and there was a flyer going around about the link between the dander in dogs hair and a corilation with autism! I wish I still had one of them to get the website off of it! It was absolutly obsurd. I’m not sure where they even came from!