The exact causes of autism spectrum disorder are still not known. However, research has shown that a combination of factors may cause autism in children and individuals. Some of them include a variety of conditions affecting the brain’s development which occur before, during or soon after birth.
Autism is a result of a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. None of the circumstances mentioned below cause autism in children or individuals by themselves.
The genetic factors may include heritability, meaning that genetics could possibly explain whether a child will develop autism to a large extent. Other risk factors for autism may include parental characteristics such as advanced advanced parental age (of both mother and father) during conception, maternal illness and difficulty during pregnancy, particularly those that lead to deprivation of oxygen to the baby’s brain and more.
The non-genetic factors that could cause autism include exposure to prenatal risk like use of psychiatric drugs by the mother during pregnancy, or bleeding or diabetes in either parent. Infectious conditions that reduce the mother’s immune system or lack of vitamin D may also cause autism, though more proof of these is needed. Autism may also be caused by air pollution, with scientists citing a link between exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and autism.
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