Rey responds to the latest nutso theory connecting autism and some randomly-selected phenomenon that has increased during the time period autism has increased. This time it's television. Someone needs to write a serious-sounding article claiming that not being Amish causes autism, using reasoning exactly parallel to that found in this kind of argument. The numbers are there for that just as much as they're there for vaccines, television, and eating bread. I'm sure someone out there will see it as a moral imperative that we all become Amish immediately in order to protect our children. It's sad to see Al Mohler involved with perpetuating this kind of nonsense.
I think my first thought at a real demonstration of a correlation, even aside from the alternative explanations raised by Rey, was that the causation is almost certainly the other way around if a connection is genuine. Has it even occurred to them that autistic kids are going to be watching more TV than neurotypical kids? After all, they don't have the interest or ability to develop the kinds of relationships that most kids want to develop, and the kinds of activities most kids engage in will therefore be both difficult and unattractive to them. They appreciate the bright colors and musical elements of programming for young children, since they stimulate the senses very well. They take to things like Sesame Street that offer very repetitive number and letter learning. Why isn't it obvious to anyone who knows much about autism that kids who are already autistic are going to be watching more TV? Never mind that parents of autistic kids will generally have a harder time keeping them within boundaries in order to do housework or other things during the day and will thus consider TV a very nice way to help lower the need for overstimulation from getting into cupboards, emptying silverware onto the floor, coloring on walls, dumping bins of toys, and so on. All kids do some of that, but autistic kids seem to want to do it 24-7 unless they have a distraction. That distraction can't always be an adult, since even full-time parents can't devote 100% of their time to kids, never mind to more than one kid when each would need 100% attention to prevent disaster. The fact is that TV calms them down, and thus parents will be motivated to have them stimulated in that way rather than in truly dangerous ways like what they're naturally inclined to do without the understanding danger that other kids naturally develop much earlier.