The content in this blog may be debatable to some, HOWEVER, I am responding to this question out of personal experience. It is not to cause a debate or spark controversy.
If you are reading this blog, I assume that you know what autism spectrum disorder entails.
Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.Mayo Clinic
As a clinician, I get the question, “What causes autism?” a lot. Scientists DO NOT KNOW what causes autism specifically, so I can’t give you a research study or scientific answer for the question “Is autism hereditary”.
I am not a scientist or researcher, but I have read TONS of research and seen a large number of children who are diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder and I can tell you that some common characteristics.
Some of the risk factors include:
Read more about the 7 causes for Autism:
Despite extensive research, no reliable study has shown a link between autism spectrum disorder and any vaccines. In fact, the original study that ignited the debate years ago has been retracted due to poor design and questionable research methods.Mayo Clinic
If you want my professional opinion, it’s a combination of genetic factors AND environmental factors.
New Jersey has one of the highest diagnosis rates of autism spectrum disorder. Why is that? We don’t know. That is what scientists are trying to figure out.
I lived and practiced in Pennsylvania at the beginning of my career and I occasionally received a child who had been diagnosed. Once I moved to NJ, my caseload ranged from 50%-75% of children who were diagnosed. That’s a huge jump between two states.
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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 (gene mutations) may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (Mayo Clinic).
Still, other genes may affect brain development or the way that brain cells communicate, or they may determine the severity of symptoms. Some genetic mutations seem to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously. It is possible that Autism is a mainly male gene, but we don’t have an answer if Autism is hereditary.
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