The answer to this question is easy. No, autism by itself cannot cause death. The disease does cause many sufferers to have mental disabilities though and this can be a cause of accidental death. In some therapy classes people with autism are taught to swim or avoid dangers that they may not understand so that they remain safer in the long run. Deaths attributed to autism are always from another cause though. There have been no cases where a direct link could be drawn between the disease and a shortened life. That is one comforting thing for parents of children who have autism.