What is Autism? What Causes Autism?

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. It is considered that autism can be diagnosed in the first 3 years of a human’s life. The disability affects normal brain function, having effect on the person’s development, social interaction and communication skills.

Experts who made a genomic research found out that people with autism spectrum disorders probably have the same genetic traits with individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, clinical depression or schizophrenia.

A person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is more likely to get used to a number of typical behavior and will reject any changes to his daily activities.

ASD as a Wide Spectrum Disorder
Currently there are no 2 people with exactly the same symptoms of autism. Moreover, while 1 person can have mild symptoms, another will have severe ones.
The main symptoms include:

  1. Social skills
    An individual with ASD interacts with other people differently, compared to the rest of popularity. The person may seem clumsy, out of synch with everyone else. With more severe symptoms a person may seem not to me interested in other people at all.
  2. Empathy
    A person with autism feels it harder to understand feelings of another person.
  3. Physical contact
    A certain amount of children having autism don’t like being touched or cuddling like most of other children.
  4. Repetitive behaviors
    Persons with autism like routine. Predictability is their best friend. Communicating with this person you’ll find out that repetitive motions compose a big part of their life.

What Causes Autism?

Medical experts have proposed many causes of autism. However understanding of ASD and knowledge about autism causes is incomplete. It was found out that generic factors predominate. Though heritability issue still remains very complex and is generally unclear what genes are responsible for autism. Among other causes are also considered childhood immunizations, but there was no scientific evidence that confirms a link between vaccinations and autism.
Scientists consider that autism is caused both by genetics and environment. Studies showed some irregularities in certain brain regions. Other studies tell about an abnormal level of serotonin or other neurotransmitters in the brain. These abnormalities cause disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development. Later it comes to defects in genes that control brain growth and that regulate how brain cells communicate with each other, possibly due to the influence of environmental factors on gene function. The theory about parental practices, which are responsible for autism has been disproved.