Article

Time to give up on a single explanation for autism

Francesca Happé, Angelica Ronald and Robert Plomin are at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, De Crispigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 11/2006; 9(10):1218-20. DOI: 10.1038/nn1770
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We argue that there will be no single (genetic or cognitive) cause for the diverse symptoms defining autism. We present recent evidence of behavioral fractionation of social impairment, communication difficulties and rigid and repetitive behaviors. Twin data suggest largely nonoverlapping genes acting on each of these traits. At the cognitive level, too, attempts at a single explanation for the symptoms of autism have failed. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.

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