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Causes of autism

Autism is a part of who a person is and therefore cannot be cured. It is not currently known why some people have autism and this is still being researched. Most recent research points to there being no single cause for autism.

Current thinking suggests that autism occurs due to a variety of physical factors which have an impact on the way that the brain develops. It is also possible that there is a genetic reason and scientists are exploring which genes might help us understand more about autism. 

 

Is there a cure?

Autism is not an illness. Therefore, it cannot be cured and there is no medical treatment for autism. It impacts everyone in different ways meaning there is no single answer for how people with autism will develop and what support they may need. 

Interventions that claim they can ‘cure’ autism can be harmful to individuals and have no scientific evidence for their claims.  

For many people, autism is part of their identity and they don’t want a ‘cure’. This doesn’t mean that people with autism won’t face challenges, and the right support should enable a life of choice and opportunity. 

 

Do vaccines cause autism? 

A study released in 1998 claimed to find a link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The study has been heavily discredited and later retracted from the journal it was published in. The author has since been banned from practising medicine in the UK.  

There is no research that has found a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. 

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