Is Autism Statistically Associated With In Utero And / Or Early Childhood Illness?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neuro developmental disability and it can be detected during early childhood years.  It affects the abilities of verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction. The causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain unknown. However, experts believe they have pinpointed certain factors that may increase risk. Genetic factors can affect risk of developing autism. Some medical conditions have also been linked to ASD. These include genetic disorders such as fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis. ASD rates are much higher among children with tuberous sclerosis. Some experts suspect that exposure to heavy metals and other toxins in the environment raises the risk of ASD. Some prescription drugs such as thalidomide and valproic acid, have also been linked to ASD.

Many causes of autism have been proposed, but an understanding of the theory of causation of autism and other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is incomplete. Research indicates that genetic factors predominate. The heritability of autism, however, is complex, and it is typically unclear which genes are involved. In rare cases, autism is associated with agents that cause birth defects. Many other causes have been proposed, such as childhood immunizations, but numerous epidemiological studies have shown no scientific evidence supporting any link between vaccinations and autismGenetic factors may be the most significant cause for autism spectrum disorders.

However, in spite of the strong heritability, most cases of ASD occur sporadically with no recent evidence of family history. It has been hypothesized that spontaneous de novo mutations in the father’s sperm or mother’s egg contribute to the likelihood of developing autism There are two lines of evidence that support this hypothesis. Autism can happen in people of any race, ethnicity, or social background. Family income, lifestyle, or educational level doesn’t affect a child’s risk of autism.

The suspected risk factors for autism include:

  • Genetic mutations
  • fragile X syndrome and other genetic disorders
  • being born to older parents
  • low birth weight
  • metabolic imbalances
  • exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins
  • a history of viral infections