Is Autism a Genetic Disorder?

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “What causes autism?” Here’s the answer.

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disease marked by persistent difficulties in social communication and social interaction across many environments. ASD signs are normally detected during the second year of life, however, they may be noticed earlier if the symptoms are severe, or later if the symptoms are faint. The degree of ASD symptoms varies and can interfere with social, occupational, and other vital aspects of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one in every 54 children has ASD. ASD affects all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is four times more likely in boys than in girls.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Genetics

A range of nonspecific risk factors may contribute to the development of ASD, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. They include advanced parental age, low birth weight, and fetal valproate exposure. According to the DSM-5, heredity estimates range from as low as 37% to more than 90% based on twin concordance rates.

Given the disorder’s intricacy and the way symptom intensity varies, there are most likely multiple origins of ASD. In addition to the probable environmental triggers indicated in the DSM-5, researchers are investigating whether viral infections, drugs, difficulties during pregnancy, or air pollution play a role in the development of ASD.

Do You Have Adult Autism? (Self-Assessment)

This quick quiz created by an expert might assist you in determining whether you are experiencing symptoms prevalent in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Proven Risk Factors

There are a few recognized risk factors to consider as researchers continue to examine the genetics and environmental factors to acquire a better understanding of what contributes to the development of ASD.

  • Gender: Men are four times more likely than women to have ASD.
  • Family history: Families having one child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are more likely to have a second child with the disorder. have a child with the disorder.
  • Other medical disorders
  • Advanced age of parents
  • Preterm birth

Although ASD cannot be prevented, treatment options are available. Early intervention helps improve social and communication skills and help children function effectively in school, their families, and their communities; but, intervention at any age is beneficial.

Pic: ASD

Functional Impacts

Impaired social and communication abilities in early childhood may have an impact on learning, particularly group learning. Rigid routines and difficulties with transitions (poor flexibility), along with sensory sensitivities, can make mealtimes and schedule changes challenging both at school and at home.

Social and communication impairments can affect friendships and other relationships in teens and young adults with ASD, and deficits in executive functioning skills can impair both academics and functional daily living skills, but teens with ASD go through similar behavioral changes as neurotypical teens. Talking back, sleeping late, and procrastinating are all common among teenagers, regardless of their social and communication abilities.

Which Parent Carries The Gene For Autism?

Autism was assumed to have a maternal inheritance component due to its lower frequency in females.

Yet, evidence suggests that the uncommon autism variations are largely passed from the father.

Finally, autism is a complex disorder involving hundreds of genes.

It is extremely difficult to separate mother and paternal genetic contributions in a kid with autism.

Autism can emerge in a child even if there is no family history of mental illness. This is due to spontaneous mutations.

Genetic tests can assist identify the risk for autism, explain potential causes, and shed light on the best management and treatment options.

Getting help 

If you are autistic and require assistance with your mental health, it is essential to obtain the appropriate support. You might begin by discussing your symptoms with your physician.

You can discuss with your therapist any adjustments or adaptations you require to feel comfortable, such as changes to the physical environment, the format of the sessions, or the manner in which they communicate with you.

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