Scientists continue to dedicate themselves to unraveling and discovering the causes behind autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on a daily basis. 2016 proved to be a year of results, giving us hope that with the right amount of support and resources we can begin to have a better understanding of what causes the diagnosis.
ASD, is now estimated to affect one in every 68 children. Continuing the advancement of treatments and diagnosis is crucial to our community and this year has pointed us in the right direction.
As family and friends wind down the year, the research is still ongoing. Fortunately there are some promising explanations we’ve settled on. Let’s take a look.
What we do know is that many of these factors happen very early on in life. Some researchers have found many, if not most, autism cases can be traced to someone having common genetic variations or rare spontaneous mutations. Boys also appear to be at higher risk, but it’s possible that girls are simply being under diagnosed.
Other scientists, while not disputing the role of genetics, have found evidence that a developing fetus’ environment (i.e. the womb and mom) can influence autism risk. These include the mother’s exposure to smoking or air pollution, her gaining excess weight, and whether she’s an older or teenage mom or there’s a large age gap between parents. Babies prematurely delivered also appear to have an increased risk of autism and other neurological conditions.
Again, there’s no one single cause of autism, just things that make someone more likely to develop it. But there are definitely factors we know probably don’t contribute to autism risk.
These include vaccines, whether a child was delivered through cesarean section, and most recently induced labor.
Supporting research centers and organizations such as I Care 4 Autism offers families hope as they have top experts and scientists dedicating themselves to finding the answers that parents are looking for. Until then we provide the support.
Link to Research: