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What are the main reasons for autism spectrum disorder?

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Last Updated on by Noni May

There are many questions surrounding autism one of them being what causes the disorder. It’s widely accepted that there is no single underlying cause of autistic spectrum disorder. Autism is thought to result from a complex interaction between hereditary and non-genetic factors. 

A child’s risk of developing autism appears to be increased by these factors. Although higher risk does not equal causation, it is crucial to bear in mind. For example, some of the gene alterations linked to autism have been observed in people without the disorder. In the same way, not everyone exposed to a contributing factor for autism will get the condition; most people will not.

Genetic risk factor

Autism appears to run in families, according to research. Autism is more likely to occur in children who have genetic mutations in certain regions of the genome. These genetic alterations can be passed to a child from a parent who carries one or more of them (even if the parents do not have autism). 

The egg and/or sperm that join to generate the embryo may also be the source of these genetic alterations. These gene mutations don’t cause autism on their own. They merely raise the risk of getting ASD.

Symptoms

Those with autism frequently experience difficulties with social and emotional development. They may tend to engage in the same routines over and over again, not wanting to experience anything new. 

Many people with autism spectrum disorder have unique ways of paying attention, learning, and reacting to the world around them. Symptoms of autism often begin in infancy and last throughout a person’s life.

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Individuals with autism can:

  • Have difficulty relating to people or simply do not have an interest
  • Difficulty maintaining eye contact and prefer being alone
  • Having a hard time empathizing with people or expressing themselves
  • Dislike cuddling or being held
  • Appear to be oblivious to the conversation around them yet react to other sounds
  • Curious about others yet unable to communicate, play or connect with them
  • Be able to imitate or repeat words and expressions that have been spoken to them
  • Convey their thoughts and feelings in a way that is understandable to others

Diagnosis

The lack of a medical test, such as a blood test, makes it difficult to diagnose ASD. To make a diagnosis, doctors examine the child’s behavior and growth. Autism spectrum disorder can be discovered as early as 18 months. 

Doctors’ diagnoses can be deemed very accurate by the age of two. Many children, however, don’t get a definitive diagnosis until they’re considerably older. Children with autism may not receive the intervention they require due to this delay.

Treatment

Currently, there is no breakthrough towards autistic spectrum disorder treatment. On the other hand, early intervention has been shown in research to help a child’s development. Two and three-year-olds can benefit from early intervention services, which help them gain crucial skills from birth to three. 

Therapists can assist the youngster in learning how to walk, speak, and communicate with others. As a result, if you feel that your child has ASD or another developmental disorder, you must consult with your child’s doctor right away.

You may be entitled to early intervention programs even if your child hasn’t been diagnosed with ASD. Children at risk of developmental delays may be eligible for programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Your state has an early intervention program that provides these services. You can request an evaluation through this system.

Contact your child’s doctor if you suspect your child has ASD or if you notice a difficulty in how your child learns, plays, speaks, or acts. Request a referral to a specialist who can conduct a more thorough evaluation of your child if you or your doctor are still worried. 

Treatment for specific symptoms such as language deficits, such as speech therapy, does not always have to wait for a formal diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

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