Autism Spectrum Disorder

What Causes Autism?

There is no single cause for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The complexity of the disorder and the wide variety of symptoms suggest that there might be many factors that lead to ASD. Researchers continue to search for the exact causes of ASD, as they are still unknown as of now, but they have found that both genetics and environmental factors can play a role. For example, scientists have discovered that a few genes that are associated with brain development may be linked with ASD.

However, genetic problems are not always inherited and many times problems will occur due to random mutations. In addition to genetics, environmental factors such as parental age, demographics, exposure to toxins, or pregnancy/birth complications may also play a role.

While children of all races and nationalities can be affected by ASD, there are a few factors that can increase a child’s risk:

  •  According to various studies and surveys, boys are about four-five times more likely to develop ASD than girls
  •  Families with a history of ASD, such as already having one child with ASD or having relatives with social/communication problems, face an increased risk for having a child with ASD.
  •  Babies born before 26 weeks of pregnancy may have a higher risk level for ASD
  •  Children with certain medical conditions such as fragile X syndrome, Epilepsy, or tuberous sclerosis may be at a higher risk for ASD.

Next Steps

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