Autism is diagnosed on the basis of behavioral manifestations, but its biomarkers are not well defined. A strong gender bias typifying autism (it is 4–5 times more prevalent in males) suggests involvement of steroid hormones in autism pathobiology. In order to evaluate the potential roles of such hormones in autism, we compared the salivary levels of 22 steroids in prepubertal autistic male and female children from two age groups (3–4 and 7–9 years old) with those in healthy controls. The steroids were analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and radioimmunoassay. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) revealed that autistic children had significantly higher salivary concentrations of many steroid hormones (both C21 and C19) than control children. These anomalies were more prominent in older autistic children and in boys. The levels of androgens (androstenediol, dehydroepiandrosterone, androsterone and their polar conjugates) were especially increased, indicative of precocious adrenarche and predictive of early puberty. The concentrations of the steroid precursor, pregnenolone, and of several pregnanolones were also higher in autistic than in healthy children, but cortisol levels were not different. Some steroids, whose levels are raised in autism (allopregnanolone, androsterone, pregnenolone, dehydroepiandrosterone and their sulfate conjugates) are neuroactive and modulate GABA, glutamate, and opioid neurotransmission, affecting brain development and functioning. These steroids may contribute to autism pathobiology and symptoms such as elevated anxiety, sleep disturbances, sensory deficits, and stereotypies among others. We suggest that salivary levels of selected steroids may serve as biomarkers of autism pathology useful for monitoring the progress of therapy.