Question: What medical illnesses/physical injuries are known to cause symptoms of autism?
Answer: No one knows for sure the exact causes of autism. One condition closely associated with autism is Fragile X. And Fragile X is an inherited condition in which one protein in the brain does not function properly. And in this condition approximately one third of people with Fragile X have autism. And of the entire autism population, approximately two to six percent also have Fragile X.
Another condition is Tuberous sclerosis in which benign tumors grow in the brain and central nervous system as well as other organs in the skin. And this can lead to autism. Also, lead poisoning has been associated with autism and also mitochondrial disorder has been related to autism. There are other conditions that mimic autism and those can be isolated speech or language delay, mental retardation by itself, reactive attachment disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and if you suspect that your child has any of these conditions, it's important to consult your pediatrician first who will refer you on to the appropriate specialist.