Fine mapping of deletion regions in autistic patients represents a valuable screening tool for identifying candidate genes for autism. A number of studies have ascertained associations between autism and terminal 2q deletion with the breakpoint within 2q37. Here we describe a 12-year-old female patient with terminal 2q37.3 cryptic deletion and autistic behaviour. Her clinical features included hypotonia and feeding difficulties during infancy, coarse face with notably prominent forehead, prominent eyebrows, broad flat nasal bridge and round cheeks, small hands and feet with bilateral brachymetaphalangism, proximal implantation of the thumbs and short toenails, mild mental retardation and autistic behaviour. Recorded autistic features included early lack of eye contact and, during infancy, little social interactions, propensity to be stereotypically busy and to get anxious. In order to more closely delineate the linkage region for autism within 2q37, the findings in this patient were combined to those in 2 previously reported siblings with a well documented 2q37.3 deletion, but without autistic disorder. The exact size of the deleted segment was determined by mapping the deleted region in each group with a series of specific BAC clones linearly ordered on the 2q37 region. The deletion in the autistic patient appeared to be larger [breakpoint flanked by more centromeric clones RP11-680016 (236.9 Mb) and 201F21 (237.4 Mb)] than in the non autistic siblings [more telomeric clones RP11-205L13 (237.8 Mb) and 346114 (238.2 Mb)], revealing a distance of maximum 1.3 Mb between the breakpoints. Accordingly, the extent of the candidate region for susceptibility genes for autism on distal 2q is reduced to maximum 1.3 Mb. Comparison with another well documented autistic patient from the literature results in the same conclusion. These findings represent thus a further step towards identifying genes predisposing to autism.