That’s pretty silly … ridiculous, even. And, a whole lot of “bad non-science.”
There does seem to be a quite-noticeable increase in cases of autism … certainly, since I was a kid many decades ago now. (And my mom was a special-ed schoolteacher, so, yes, I knew what autism was … and that it was quite rare.)
I’ve read a number of articles that suggest a link between acetaminophen (Tylenol®), taken during pregnancy, and autism. I find such an argument to be quite compelling. Mom has a headache, so, instead of taking aspirin, she takes a Tylenol® or an Advil®, and her headache goes away and she thinks nothing further of it.
“Genetics,” actually, is much more of a “great dissipator” than a “great concentrator.” Your genome carries many genes from several generations of your ancestors which your body will never express, and your spouse is the same. But, when you have children, each child’s body will express not only some of the genes that you have (“she has her daddy’s dimples …”), but some from generations past. I, for instance, am a male of the species who’s lucky to have had a great-grandfather with a thick head of hair, which he sported 'til the ripe old day he died. And yet, my brother’s damn near bald now. I had no children, and it’s too early yet to tell how the hair on my nephews will pan out. Any of them could possess, and could therefore express, the same happy-news for-an older-guy gene that I did.
In much the same way, characteristics like autism (if they are genetic … and there’s no indication of this) would not be concentrated: the characteristic would dissipate. But many drugs have very subtle (or, not so subtle) impacts upon a developing fetus. (Remember the “Thalidomide babies?” The drug was “proven safe and effective …” :eek: ) It is very plausible to me that the cause may be traced to such a “smoking gun” … but it’s not as easy to do that as it may sound. This drug is very, very widely used, and the effect, if there is one, is more subtle. Hence, an uncertain correlation, if there is one. About the only thing that we have to go on, insofar as correlations are concerned, is that an increase in cases of autism did more-or-less coincide with the widespread adoption of this analgesic.