Published: October 4, 2018

Autism spectrum disorder is believed to affect one in every 110 American children, and the causes of the disorder remain unknown. A number of theories have been debunked, including an old theory that autism was caused by bad mothers, whose chilly behavior toward their child led their youngsters to withdraw into a private world, and the theory that vaccines led to autism. This program presented the latest theories about the causes of autism, both genetic and nongenetic, and also gave an overview of what are currently thought to be the best treatment options for both children and adults. Speakers: Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University; Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director, Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics, Director, Center for Autism Research and Treatment, Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair, Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles; Janine LaSalle, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine Genome Center MIND Institute, University of California, Davis. Moderator: Barry Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Therapeutic Cognitive Neuroscience Professor, and Professor of Neurology and Cognitive Science, Director, Cognitive Neurology/Neuropsychology Division Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. This event, part of the AAAS Neuroscience and Society series, was co-sponsored by the Dana Foundation. See also related story