Experts are still uncertain about all the causes of autism. In all likelihood, there are multiple causes – rather than just one. It appears to be that a number of different circumstances — including environmental, biologic, and genetic factors – set the stage for autism and make a child more likely to have the disorder.
Because autism runs in families, most researchers think that certain combinations of genes may predispose a child to autism. However, there are risk factors that increase the chance of having a child with autism. For example:
Although sometimes cited as a cause of autism, there is no evidence that vaccinations cause autism. The exact reason why autism happens isn’t clear. Research suggests that it may arise from abnormalities in parts of the brain that interpret sensory input and process language. Researchers have no evidence that a child’s psychological environment — such as how caregivers treat the child — causes autism.
Sometimes, parents or other relatives of an autistic child have mild social impairments (such as repetitive behaviors and social or communication problems) that look very much like autism. Research also has found that some emotional disorders (such as manic depression) occur more often in families of a child with autism.
At least one group of researchers has found a link between an abnormal gene and autism. The gene may be just one of three to five or more genes that interact in some way to cause the condition. Scientists suspect that a faulty gene or genes might make a person more likely to develop autism when there are also other factors present, such as a chemical imbalance, viruses or chemicals, or a lack of oxygen at birth.
Adele Devine Says
“Children with Autism are colorful, they are often very beautiful and, like the rainbow, they stand out.”