Speech Therapy

What Causes Autism? – A Summary

Honestly, it was a bit awkward and embarrassing to a certain extent when the son of my friend’s friend reacted very negatively and threw tantrums when my son touched his toy. I was confused, my son was crying, and the mother of that boy was profusely apologizing. What Causes Autism? I asked myself and felt bad for her. As a mother I know how difficult it is to raise a child, and she was expected to put double the efforts. Before learning more about what causes autism, let us learn a bit about this neurological condition itself.

What Is It?
Autism is one of the most common neurological conditions of the five pervasive developmental disorders and it affects almost 1 in 110–150 children. An individual with this condition has little or no interest in social interactions, has trouble with communication, and has set behavioral pattern.

There are billions of neurons in the brain and each neuron has thousands of connections called neurotransmitters that carry messages to the neurons, that help the brain feel, smell, see, sense, understand, remember, and act. Basically, these neurotransmitters help the brain function properly and control and manage all the areas of communication, language, senses, and emotions.

In children with autism, these neurotransmitters are damaged, or are not developed properly to convey the message fully.

Symptoms Of The Disorder:
The symptoms of this disorder are established before the age of 3 and parents are usually the first ones to observe it. Following are some of the signs that can help you diagnose the condition, but it is better to consult a pediatrician before calling your child an autistic.

  • A less involving behavior can be seen from the infancy and gradually becomes more and more prominent as the kid grows.
  • They avoid communicating with others. They do not make eye contact when they are talked to, do not smile back, and rarely respond to questions etc.
  • They prefer to be alone than in a company of friends and family to interact.
  • They have a problem maintaining friendships and social contacts.
  • Their speech is affected too and in some cases it interferes with the daily life interactions.
  • They have problem with words and face a hard time expressing their needs, requests, emotions, feelings, ideas, and thoughts.
  • They have a repetitive behavior.
  • They also like to follow the same schedule or pattern everyday without any variations or changes to their daily life.
  • They also have obsessive compulsive disorder and are very particular about having things the way they like without anyone disturbing the arrangement and the sequencing. Or could be obsessed with a toy or a program etc.
  • Sharp perception when compared to general people.
  • They are particularly sensitive to noise, touch, and can get easily distressed by even a gentle touch.
  • They usually walk into things, people, doors, or walls.
  • They have poor muscle tone and usually toe walk.
  • Their eating behavior is unusual and they are very selective about food and can also refuse it.

Causes:

  • Genetics play a very important role in this condition, and scientists have found many genes that are associated with it.
  • It has been found that there are several irregularities observed in the brain of an autistic person when compared to a non-autistic person.
  • Abnormal development of neurotransmitters during the fetus development is also one of the causes for the disorder.
  • Environmental causes like stress, anxiety, exposure to radiation, pollution, toxic substances, chemicals, and other household cleaners etc, can also play a major role.
  • Other than these, radiations, mutations, complexities during the genes interaction, chromosomal abnormalities etc are the other factors.

In simple words this is the answer to the one of the common questions what causes autism? If you feel your child also exhibits some of the characteristics of this condition then it is better to take him/her to a pediatrician for further examination. The earlier the treatment starts, the better the chances of improving.

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