We thank Dr Simon for her interest in our review article on prenatal and perinatal risk factors for autism.1 Dr Simon refers to our conclusion that intrapartum hypoxia is likely associated with increased risk of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). She points out that the brain auditory pathway might be a primary site of injury following newborn asphyxia or hypoxia, leading to deafness, and proposes that the auditory damage could, in turn, adversely affect language development and cause a developmental disorder. Dr Simon also alludes to the possibility that the practice of early (immediate) postdelivery umbilical cord clamping could increase the risk of intrapartum hypoxia and therefore of autism.
Gross R, Kolevzon A, Reichenberg A. Auditory System Damage and Anoxic Birth—Reply. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(11):1106-1107. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.11.1106-b