Are we a step closer to a world without autism? The British newspaper, the Guardian had a lead feature written by Health Editor, Sarah Boseley on the new research by the Cambridge University Autism Research Centre. Professor Simon Baron Cohen and his team followed 235 children from birth to the age of eight. The study found that high levels of testosterone in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women was linked to autistic traits such as a lack of sociability and verbal skills by the time they are eight.
It could well lead to the possibility of an amniocentesis to detect autism. This in turn could lead to termination. This is a huge ethical issue – where do we go from here? Many say it is eugenics. Others say there could be benefits.
As we fast approach Autism Sunday on 8th February 2009 scheduled to be observed around the world – a celebration of the lives of children and adults with autism and AS, perhaps it is time for parents and people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to speak out on this issue.