What are the Causes of Autism?
There have been many discussions on the causes of autism. Hypotheses include a wide range causes – from genetics, to food/nutrition, to immunization, and other environmental factors.
As of now, there is no known single cause for autism. Researchers are continuing to investigate the various hypotheses including genetics, environment and other medical conditions.
Genetic causes of autism?
On genetics, there is no specific gene that has been identified as the cause of autism. Many people, however, see that certain families can have a pattern of autism, hence the hypotheses that it may have a genetic basis continues to be studied. Also, some believe that there could also be a genetic basis for a predisposition to autism. This has yet to be confirmed as well.
Environmental and Medical Links with autism?
On environmental factors, research is ongoing on the effect of toxins in the environment (like some heavy metals) and whether these have any linkage to autism.
On other medical conditions, according to http://www.autism-society.org: ‘Autism tends to occur more frequently than expected among individuals who have certain medical conditions, including fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU). Some harmful substances ingested during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of autism.’
How to manage autism?
How do you Manage Autism should your child show the symptoms, or is eventually diagnosed with Autism?
Step 1: See a Professional. The first important step is to see a professional/ Developmental Pediatrician immediately if you notice any ‘red flags’ in your child. This is sometimes easier said than done. There are a variety of emotional and social factors that make parents delay seeing a professional. Some are ‘afraid’ to see a professional, as having a professional verify a diagnosis is very daunting. Other parents are afraid of the social repercussion – what would in-laws and other relatives and friends say if they find out my child is ‘delayed’?
While these reactions are understandable, it is a big issue if parents allow these emotions and social factors to prevent them from seeing a professional early. If your child has autism, the earlier the diagnosis, the earlier the treatment, and the earlier the treatment, the higher the chance of success. Hence, it is important to see your professional immediately.
Step 2: Determine the best form of therapy/ies. Whether your child is diagnosed with autism, or is merely showing symptoms that are not fully defined, it is advisable to see if there are any therapies that can be of help.