Autism is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder with a 3-4 times higher sex ratio in males than females. X chromosome genes may contribute to this higher sex ratio through unusual skewing of X chromosome inactivation. We studied X chromosome skewness in 30 females with classical autism and 35 similarly aged unaffected female siblings as controls using the polymorphic androgen receptor (AR) gene. Significantly, increased X chromosome skewness (e.g., >80:20%) was detected in our autism group (33%) compared to unaffected females (11%). X chromosome skewness was also seen in 50% of the mothers with autistic daughters. No mutation was seen in the promoter region of the XIST gene reported to be involved in X chromosome inactivation in our subjects. X chromosome skewness has been reported in female carriers of other neurological disorders such as X-linked mental retardation, adrenoleukodystrophy and Rett syndrome.