Autistic Kids Linked to Sperm Donor

Experts warn it's impossible to screen for autism genes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2008 8:07 AM CDT
Specialists encourage autistic children to interact. Scientists are working to pinpoint which genes play a part in causing the condition.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A New York professor who wanted to become a mother contacted a sperm bank and chose sperm from a donor with a high IQ. When her son turned out to be autistic, she contacted other mothers who used the same donor and discovered some of their kids were autistic as well, CNN reports. Experts warn there's no effective way to genetically screen for the condition.

The exact cause of autism is still unknown, and although scientists believe genes play a part, they are years away from pinpointing which genes may be linked to the condition. The sperm bank has removed the donor from its cataIog of choices, and the autistic child's mother says she wouldn't trade her little boy for anything.