The cause of autism spectrum disorder is more complicated than what we have understood. “What is the cause for autism spectrum disorder?” remains one of the top researching topics for the autism community.
What is the main cause of autism?
Autism is a brief way of saying autism spectrum disorder. We emphasize its characteristics in the wide-range spectrum and neurological disorder when using the full term.
No expert in the world can pinpoint one single cause of autism. Without knowing the cause or causes, the outcome of treatments is much more unpredictable. Although through the researches, the mainstream professionals are mostly convinced that the main cause of autism is the neurological disorder originated by multi-facet interactions from genetics and environmental factors.
When it comes to the examination of what genetic and environmental factors develop into autism, we expect that the explanations of the following inquiries can answer the most concerns.
Does autism have a genetic component?
I have been a firm believer that autism has genetic components since my autistic twin sons were 5 years old.
To support the above statement, I am using some real-life examples from my autistic twin sons Ray and Rich.
- Some autistic traits can be seen that are developed to the extreme appearances of dominant genes.
Like most autistic individuals, Ray carries an obsessive-compulsive personality. He wanted to change his clothes right away every time when he got a few drops of water on them. I was the only one in the house who understood why he did that. I was in a similar way and I would want to change my clothes if I got some raindrops on me.
- Some autistic abnormities can be traced back to the genes in a skip generation. Although technically speaking, recessive genes are the ones responsible for the traits. Since we can only compare the visible traits, it is a logical choice to compare the genes from skip generations.
Like some of the autistic children who have self-injurious behavior, Rich was always banging his head on everything for a few years. I considered that had a generic root from his grandma who ended her life from suicide. Suicide is the worst form of self-injury.
have many similar findings between my twins and our family members. Most of my twins’ autistic symptoms are the utmost semblances of the traits of us and our parents. They are the reasons that why I believe that genetic components are the seeds of the cause of autism.
Conclusion about genetic components
Researches indicate that autism has some genetic components. This is a fundamental conclusion to verify “what is the cause of autism spectrum disorder”, even though the causes for autism might be more complicated than this revelation.
What environmental factors contribute to autism?
When simply responding to “what is the cause of autism spectrum disorder” or “what are the causes of autism”, I would say “Genes and environment”. As much as I believe genes are the seeds in the ground for autism, environmental factors are the fertilizer to the ground. Without being triggered by environmental factors, the genes might not interchange with the ones that cause autism.
Although researchers continue looking into more environmental influences, the following aspects resent very well with my personal experience.
- Prenatal stress. When I was pregnant with twins, I was under tremendous stress handling my clothing business. I was worrying 250,000 pieces of clothes stuck in custom’s warehouse due to sudden USA quota change with China for over 2 months.
- Prenatal infection. While I was five-month pregnant, I had a bad sinus infection which lasted for over a month with medication to heal.
- Prenatal toxic environment. This triggers my advice to all the moms-to-be. It properly was not a good idea to buy a new house and deal with the reconstruction while being pregnant. I was a “general contractor” to deal with the renovation, breathing in and out the dust for over a month to push moving in before twins were born.
- Social environment before diagnoses. As both my husband and I worked long hours most days, we didn’t realize that the twins didn’t have sufficient social interaction. Our live-in nanny was their main caregiver for them before they were diagnosed. Sadly she told me another set of twins who she cared for later were also diagnosed with autism. Through our conversation (we remained friends until this point), she said she didn’t want to play with the babies. I could only imagine what interactions she had with my twins before they were diagnosed.
More environmental factors
As lists can go on :
parents’ physical and mental conditions before conception;
mother’s physical and mental health during pregnancy;
prenatal and postnatal care in drugs, vitamins, and nutrition.
We can imagine that environmental factors stir up and aggravate the genes to originate the spectrum.
Does autism affect the brain?
Most people ask”Does autism affect the brain?”, thinking autism is an illness that might cause effects on the brain and the body. In fact, autism is a brain disorder instead of an illness.
Autism is developed when a certain local brain doesn’t grow the ability to function properly. Under normal circumstances, those areas of the brain prompt regular communication and related social behaviors for human beings. Due to multi-factored interexchanges, an autistic individual develops a brain that can’t perform the same tasks as a typical brain. It is considered an atypical neurological development.
We are beyond doubt that autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It impairs the cognitive abilities in learning communication skills and related social interactions.
The causes are on the rise?
Last but not least, by end of this post, you should be comfortable in responding to “What is the cause of autism spectrum disorder?” or “What are the causes of autism?”. But please share with us if you have your own observations. The diagnosis of the causes of autism not only helps develop treatment plans but also enhances the outcomes of treatments. More importantly, knowing the causes would benefit to prevent autism. We are on the journey to helping the world solve the puzzles!