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Autism Linked to Birth Problems

Factors Underlying Autism Make for Difficult Births

Autism Not Mothers' Fault

This does not in any way mean that mothers are to blame for their children's autism.

"[Parents] should not be worried that they contributed in any way to their child's autistic behaviors," Glasson says. "Plenty of children are born with assisted delivery or have older mothers and have perfectly normal development after birth."

While the study offers new clues, it leaves many questions unanswered. One of them is why, exactly, kids who develop autism have more difficult births than other kids do.

"That's the big question. Unfortunately, the nature of the data we collected does not give us any answers," Glasson says. "Research has a long way to go yet to accurately describe the causes of autism in children. This study has shown that some children who develop autism experience more difficulties [in the womb] and during delivery. The reasons for this are unknown, but may become clearer when information about the causes and associations of autism disorders become known."

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