World Autism Views Project 2011: How does the world see autism?

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what does the world think causes autism?

There are many theories, but according to science, no clear answer as to what causes autism. People are left to draw their own conclusions mostly from the popular media.

So what do people think causes autism? Genetics, toxic substances, vaccinations, the way parents treat children? And how does this vary in different parts of the planet?

Find out here...

autism: a gift or a tragedy?

Given there is so much disagreement about basic questions such as "what causes autism?" and "how, or even if, we should treat it?" we thought there would probably also be disagreement in general attitudes towards autism. We chose two statements: "autism is a gift to humanity" and "autism is a tragedy for any family" to capture people's general attitudes towards autism.

Again we found some interesting regional differences in how people responded to these ideas. Find out here...

what does the world think about autism treatment?

Parents are bombarded from every direction with conflicting advice about which treatments to use. Some people advocate medical treatments, others endorse specific therapeutic approaches. But no researchers have found any one approach that seems to be "better" than another so what do people around the world believe about treating autism?

Do people even believe that autism is treatable? We found that some do, guess where they live?

Find out here...

what should research focus on?

We asked people what they thought researchers should focus on.

There was a lot of agreement but one statment in particular shed light on some clear regional differences in attitudes. Find out here...


Who completed the World Autism Views 2011 survey?
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