I recently gave a lecture for the Autism Research Institute. The same dealt with whether autism should be considered a single condition or a conglomerate of multiple disorders. My position approaches the problem from the perspective of somebody with experience in the fields of neurology and neuropathology. In the lecture I argue that there is enough evidence to indicate the presence of one basic mechanism underlying autism. I also argue that differences in susceptibility for an individual person (e.g. genetic makeup), environmental exigencies, and timing during brain development may all interact in various ways thus accounting for the observed clinical heterogeneity of autism. Thus despite many causative factors (e.g., risk genes, congenital viruses, use of drugs during gestation) they all seem to act through the same mechanism yet still provide for a clinical heterogeneous disorder. The lecture and findings are of importance in regards to the ongoing debate about neurodiversity. People claiming that autism falls under the purview of the normal variability of traits within the general population are hard pressed to explain brain findings that are evidently pathological and whose manifestations (e.g., seizures) are in need of treatment.
I apologize in advance for the audio quality of the recording, this is something that went beyond my control. The same was taped from a Skype session in my office. However, if you liked the video, please share the same with your social contacts and leave a like on YouTube. You can also leave comments on this blog. The link to the lecture is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFO-o-zEf6k