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Autism. 2001 Jun;5(2):223-7.

The link between autism and skills such as engineering, maths, physics and computing: a reply to Jarrold and Routh.

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  • 1Autism Research Centre, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK.


In the first edition of this journal, we published a paper reporting that fathers and grandfathers of children with autism were over-represented in the field of engineering. This result was interpreted as providing supporting evidence for the folk-psychology/folk-physics theory of autism. After carrying out further analyses on the same data, Jarrold and Routh found that fathers of children with autism were also over-represented in accountancy and science. They suggested that these results could either provide additional support for the folk-psychology/folk-physics theory or be accounted for by an over-representation of professionals amongst the fathers of children with autism. Here we present evidence that engineers are still over-represented among fathers of children with autism, even taking into account the professional bias.

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