We know that there's no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences. These influences appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism.
About 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. Researchers estimate that there may be hundreds of genes that could influence the development of autism. Mothers who have bacterial or viral infections during pregnancy or those who are obese are more likely to give birth to babies who later develop autism.
Genetics. Genetic factors may be the most significant cause of autism. Early studies of twins had estimated heritability to be over 90%, meaning that genetics explains over 90% of whether a child will develop autism.
Advanced parental age at time of conception. Prenatal exposure to air pollution or certain pesticides. Maternal obesity, diabetes, or immune system disorders. Extreme prematurity or very low birth weight.
Sensory objects and toys are perfect for soothing the early stages of a meltdown. They can help decrease sensory overload (even if that seems counterintuitive) and provide a helpful distraction for the person with autism. There are plenty of sensory toys on the market if you want something convenient.
Self-stimulatory behavior is not unique to individuals on the autism spectrum and can be seen in neurotypical individuals as well.
Inheritance. ASD has a tendency to run in families, but the inheritance pattern is usually unknown. People with gene changes associated with ASD generally inherit an increased risk of developing the condition, rather than the condition itself.
Advances in diagnostic capabilities and greater understanding and awareness of autism spectrum disorder seem to be largely driving the increase, the Rutgers researchers said. But there's probably more to the story: Genetic factors, and perhaps some environmental ones, too, might also be contributing to the trend.
Does The Father Or Mother Carry The Autism Gene? Autism was always thought to have a maternal inheritance component, however, research suggests that the rarer variants associated with the disorder are usually inherited from the father.
Every autistic person is different, but sensory differences, changes in routine, anxiety, and communication difficulties are common triggers.
Two such factors that have been associated with a significant proportion of ASD risk are prenatal stress exposure and maternal immune dysregulation. Maternal stress susceptibility appears to interact with prenatal stress exposure to affect offspring neurodevelopment.
A recent study by Roberts et al. (2015) found a strong association between trauma, PTSD and autistic traits (which may have been sub-clinical) in adult women. This association was highest amongst those women with the most severe autistic traits.
About stimming and autism
Stimming might include: hand and finger mannerisms – for example, finger-flicking and hand-flapping. unusual body movements – for example, rocking back and forth while sitting or standing. posturing – for example, holding hands or fingers out at an angle or arching the back while sitting.
Children with autism can frequently become overwhelmed or overstimulated by situations beyond their control. As caregivers, teachers and therapists we may not always know the cause of their discomfort so its important to have a toolbox of calming strategies to help kids calm down, refocus and get back on task.
For example, children might: make repetitive noises like grunts, throat-clearing or squealing. do repetitive movements like body-rocking or hand-flapping. do things like flicking a light switch repeatedly.
Many autistic people experience hypersensitivity to bright lights or certain light wavelengths (e.g., LED or fluorescent lights). Certain sounds, smells, textures and tastes can also be overwhelming. This can result in sensory avoidance – trying to get away from stimuli that most people can easily tune out.
Meltdowns are similar to the fight response. When an autistic person is having a meltdown they often have increased levels of anxiety and distress which are often interpreted as frustration, a 'tantrum' or an aggressive panic attack.
Two types of reaction are typical of autism meltdowns – an explosive reaction or a withdrawal. Explosive reactions may involve screaming, shouting, aggressive behaviour or crying. On the other hand, less explosive reactions may include refusing to communicate or interact, withdrawing themselves or shutting down.
If you still hear people use some of the older terms, you'll want to know what they mean: Asperger's syndrome. This is on the milder end of the autism spectrum. A person with Asperger's may be very intelligent and able to handle their daily life.
It's something you're born with. Signs of autism might be noticed when you're very young, or not until you're older. If you're autistic, you're autistic your whole life. Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a "cure".