The first indication that autism has genetic origins came from twin studies. Ditto for schizophrenia and many other diseases.
Itʼs been clear for decades that there is no one gene that causes schizophrenia. Rather than being result of any one mutation, it turns out that schizophrenia is the unfortunate outcome of many different deletions and duplications that cause the developing brain to go awry.
In the past two weeks, autism researchers and advocacy groups have been agog with news that autism could be linked to an extremely rare group of metabolic diseases.
Autism is caused by poor parenting, particularly by ‘frigid’ mothers who reject their children. Such a statement would seem bizarre today. But 30 years ago parents, especially mothers, were blamed for their childrenʼs autism. But then in 1977, one study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, single-handedly turned the field around to recognize the importance of genetics.