Autism

How do you get autism?
Genetics. Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. For some children, autism spectrum disorder can be associated with a genetic disorder, such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome. For other children, genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder.
What is the main cause of autism?
There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism compared to in neurotypical children.
At what age does autism usually show up?
ASD begins before the age of 3 and lasts throughout a person’s life, although symptoms may improve over time. Some children with ASD show hints of future problems within the first few months of life. In others, symptoms may not show up until 24 months or later.
What are the 3 main symptoms of autism?
Patterns of Behavior
  • Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, rocking, jumping, or twirling.
  • Constant moving (pacing) and “hyper” behavior.
  • Fixations on certain activities or objects.
  • Specific routines or rituals (and getting upset when a routine is changed, even slightly)
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, light, and sound.
Does autism worsen with age?

Change in severity of autism symptoms and optimal outcome

One key finding was that children’s symptom severity can change with age. In fact, children can improve and get better. “We found that nearly 30% of young children have less severe autism symptoms at age 6 than they did at age 3.

Does autism run in families?
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.
Is autism always genetic?
So far, at least, there is no such thing as an ‘autism gene’ — meaning that no gene is consistently mutated in every person with autism. There also does not seem to be any gene that causes autism every time it is mutated
What are typical signs of autism?
Common signs of autism
  • Avoiding eye contact.
  • Delayed speech and communication skills.
  • Reliance on rules and routines.
  • Being upset by relatively minor changes.
  • Unexpected reactions to sounds, tastes, sights, touch, and smells.
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s emotions.
How are you tested for autism?
Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the child’s developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis. ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger.

 

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and attention issues.

Signs of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, they can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association merged four distinct autism diagnoses into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. 

more info at:

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html
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