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Local Environment Not Cause of Autism 'Clusters'

California Autism Clusters Linked to Parent Education, Not Local Toxins

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The study also suggests that there are a lot more kids with autism -- in California, at least -- who are not getting the services they need. In Denmark, where all kids are screened for autism, parental education doesn't raise autism risk. But it is in the U.S. and the U.K., where access to screening is not universal.

"This calls for some thinking about what we can do to increase autism awareness in the general population and bring services to these families, so that parents with education and means are not the only ones able to address the health of their children in the best possible way," Shih says.

Graduate student Karla C. Van Meter is first author of the Hertz-Picciotto study, which appears in the January issue of Autism Research.

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