Autism and Known Medical Conditions: Myth and Substance


Requests for reprints to: Dr M. Rutter, MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, U.K.


Abstract There is general agreement that autism has an organic basis but there is less agreement on the frequency with which it is associated with known medical conditions. The evidence in the literature on the latter point is reviewed and it is concluded that the rate of known medical conditions in autism is probably about 10%; however the rate appears to be higher in cases of autism associated with profound mental retardation and in cases of atypical autism.