1. I believe that autism is neurological in nature, and I have limited interest in "science" that attempts to explain autism itself by focusing on parts of the body other than the brain. For example, autistic people, especially autistic children, often eat strange things and, equally important, often find common foods very difficult to eat, so it does not surprise me that many autistic people develop unusual internal ecologies that cause serious health problems. But I believe that those problems result from brains which cause people to have a problematic relationship with food and other elements of the surrounding environment.
2. A few days ago, The New York Times published an opinion piece by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, who believes that much autism is caused by inflammation. There is some science to back this up. but it seems to me to be limited and exaggerated. I don't think people become autistic because they are too clean. I do think the difficulty that some autistic people have interacting with the environment might cause them to be cleaner than other people might tend to be. I do not think giving autistic people worms will help them. I was irritated with the NYT for publishing a piece that looks to me like quack science:
3. People have contacted me asking for an opinion on the article. I think it's bad, but I don't understand this sort of science well enough to have an intelligent opinion. Since Emily Willingham understands it much better than I do, the fact that she also rejects the article means more than what I think of it. Emily breaks down the specific of how Velasquez-Manoff has exaggerated. In my opinion, she focuses too much on guilt by association-- that fact that people who support a connection between autism and vaccines believe some of the things written here says nothing about whether or not they might be true. But Emily's opinion is informed in a way that mine is not, so you should read it if this topic interests you.