By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern
There are many myths that surround Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and often we see information about how it was caused. What some may not realize is that there is no single known cause that can be supported by research, yet. What has been shown in research is that there is no evidence showing that vaccines cause ASD, we do not yet have a cure, and your parenting is not to blame.
Some commonalities do exist in the risk factors associated with ASD including genetic influences, early development, and brain abnormalities. Regarding genetics, people diagnosed with ASD have an increase of 5% in chromosomal anomalies and their genes are susceptible to rare mutations. Additionally, of the children diagnosed with ASD, 25% of them also have a diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis. However, no single gene has been found relevant for most cases. Development also plays a role in the risks of ASD diagnosis. It has been shown that environmental toxins both before and after birth could have an impact on early development, heightening the likelihood of diagnosis.
In some cases, brain abnormalities have been shown to accompany ASD diagnosis. Some of these abnormalities include an overgrowth of specific brain matters or decreased blood flow in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, often associated with language and emotion. Other cases have shown a decrease in connection between the hemispheres of the brain or a lack of communication between brain networks.
Ultimately, there still isn’t a lot of information as to the development of causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research does show that the diagnosis is four times more common in boys than girls and it is important to remember that there are no identical cases of ASD. Each case should be approached individually with care.
For more information on Autism Spectrum Disorder,
visit the National Institute of Mental Health.
Owens & Associates can help understand the impact Autism Spectrum Disorder may be taking on your mental health or that of a family member. We offer services to individuals, couples, families and groups. Schedule a free 15-minute phone or video consultation to discuss how one of our clinicians or groups might help meet your needs.