The first known cause of autism was rubella virus. So not only is New Scientist an unreliable source of information, this cause of autism has been known since the 1960s. And rubella virus is one of the three live viruses in the MMR vaccine.
… rubella (congenital rubella syndrome) is one of the few proven causes of autism.“ Walter A. Orenstein, M.D. US as Assistant Surgeon General, Director National Immunization Program in a letter to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer 15 February 2002.
rubella virus is one of the few known causes of autism.” US Center for Disease Control.
http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/autism-hits-china-big-time/rubella can cause autism” The Pediatrician’s Role in the Diagnosis and Management of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Children – PEDIATRICS Vol. 107 No. 5 May 2001
China Daily News reports today from Qingdao, Shandong – autism is ranked No 1 among mental disorders in China, according to a presentation on Nov 4 at the International Autism Research Collaboration Development Conference in Shanghai. The data include only diagnoses in hospitals and research centers, so the actual number may be much higher, experts warned. The report is detailed and we recommend you click the link and read it all to get a good picture of what is going on in one of the most populous nations in the world.