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    Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

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    Understanding Autism -- Prevention

    How Can I Prevent Autism?

    Although the cause of autism is not known, many researchers believe genetics is responsible for 90% of the risk of a child developing autism. Rare cases may be caused by chemical exposure and other agents that can cause birth defects.

    To reduce the risk of having a child with an autistic disorder:

    Understanding Autism

    Find out more about autism:

    Basics

    Symptoms

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    Prevention

    • Have regular check-ups, eat healthy, exercise and take all recommended vitamins and supplements when you are pregnant.
    • Do not take drugs during pregnancy unless your doctor approves; this is particularly true for some antiseizure medications.
    • Do not drink alcoholic beverages of any kind while you are pregnant.
    • If you've been diagnosed with PKU or celiac disease, get treatment.
    • Getting immunized against German measles (rubella) before pregnancy can prevent rubella-associated autism.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on May 31, 2016

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