Lyme disease is carried and transmitted by ticks, especially in the northeastern US. There has been some concern that children with autism have higher rates of Lyme disease.
Autism runs in families, past research has shown. But even when a family risk is known, children are not usually diagnosed with autism until they are toddlers.
Some medications are linked to disorders such as autism or to birth defects when taken during pregnancy. However, that risk must also be balanced against the medication's benefits.
Dozens of studies have debunked the one study that falsely tried to link vaccines to autism. Yet some parents remain concerned about possible negative effects of children's vaccines.
The causes of autism increasingly appear to come from a variety of different risk factors. One of those risk factors may be related to the childhood experiences of the children's mothers.