Do certain factors cause Autism?
We do not know all of the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, we have learned that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASD.
There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biologic and genetic factors.
- Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.
- Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD.
- ASD tends to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis.
- When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.
- There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth.
- Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD.
You may speak with your child’s pediatrician, or other medical developmental specialist, about chromosomal or other medical tests that may be appropriate for your child.