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Autism – What We Know And What We Don’t Know (Yet)

This factual TED talk about autism is a concise and enlightening lecture that reviews our current state of understanding, particularly from a genetic perspective, of this challenging condition.

Wendy Chung, director of clinical research at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, begins by looking at the epidemiology of autism as a diagnosis, and proposes some possible causes for the marked increase in presentation in recent years.  She also discusses the previous worry about vaccines as aetiology, and then provides insight into causes and correlations that are supported by real evidence.

After a very clear and interesting section on the genetics of autism, Ms Chung also presents her recent research on identifying gene mutations that lead to ASD development, and shows some of the new ways that early diagnosis in infants is being achieved.

As an alternative viewpoint – Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism herself, provides wonderful insight into the autistic mind: