The exact cause of autism is not known, but research has pointed to several possible factors, including genetics (heredity), certain types of infections, and problems occurring at birth.
Recent studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism, meaning that a susceptibility to develop the condition may be passed on from parents to children. Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to this increased vulnerability. In some children, environmental factors may also play a role. Studies of people with autism have found abnormalities in several regions of the brain, which suggest that autism results from a disruption of early brain development while still in utero.
Other autism theories suggest:
- The body's immune system may inappropriately produce antibodies that attack the brains of children causing autism.
- Abnormalities in brain structures cause autistic behavior.
- Children with autism have abnormal timing of the growth of their brains. Early in childhood, the brains of autistic children grow faster and larger than those of normal children. Later, when normal children's brains get bigger and better organized, autistic kids' brains grow more slowly.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Thanks for your feedback.
4 of 4 found this helpful