Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clinic Notes: Testosterone in the Womb Related to Autistic Characteristics in Children

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen and his associates at Cambridge have found that babies exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb have autistic traits such as poor social skills, a lack of imagination, a lack of empathy, less eye contact, and slower language development. This finding supports Baron-Cohen's hypothesis of "extreme male brains" in children with autism. (I note excessive body hair in any of the children with autism that I see in my clinic so I am not surprised.) This finding could lead to a prenatal test for autism and ABA could be started at an early age perhaps preventing autism.