The title “Theoretical Causes of Autism” is a bit misleading. The research I found provided me with a list of environmental and pathogenic factors that appear to be linked to the diagnosis of autism. Although these factors do not have enough evidence to be considered causes of autism, the article still portrayed them this way. There is a massive outcry to search for a cause of autism. The reality is that there is not enough scientific evidence available to support any specific cause. It is a slippery slope to try to explain a child's autism diagnosis. The factors listed within my research provided possible risk factors in relation to autism but the cause of autism is still unknown.

“Hindrances to the treatment and prevention of autism are directly related to the heterogeneity of risk factors that likely contribute to an autism diagnosis and the phenotypic heterogeneity of the disease itself. Genetic susceptibilities combined with a myriad of exogenous factors including maternal infections, stress, environmental pollutants, pharmaceutical agents, and dietary insufficiencies are thought to contribute to the etiology of autism. However, specific pathways are hypothetical at best and causality among putative risk factors has not been established.” (Dewitt & Diedert, 2011).

The controversy and attention surrounding the possible cause of autism has put up barriers in scientific research. Possible risk factors and even false risk factors regarding autism are being portrayed in the media as theoretical causes of autism. This is creating a frenzy among parents to take unnecesarry and sometimes even dangerous precautions to fend off the possibility of their child being diagnosed with autism.