Autism: Familial aggregation and genetic implications

Susan E. Folstein, Michael L. Rutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


A review of the current literature suggests that genetic factors play an important role in the etiology of autism. It is likely that the etiology of currently idiopathic cases of autism will be shown to be heterogeneous, just as the few known etiologies are both environmental and genetic. Moreover, we would speculate that within the group of cases shown to have genetic etiologies, more than one genetic locus will be found. Some evidence suggests that quite often it is not autism itself that is inherited but rather some genetic abnormality of language or sociability that interacts with other factors to produce autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-30
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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