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What are the causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

ANSWER

Experts don’t fully understand what causes it. It seems to be genetic, mostly. And it usually involves more than one gene, so it’s complicated.

For instance:

Some prescription medicines taken during pregnancy have been linked to ASD. But they aren’t proven to cause it.

  • A person is more likely to be on the spectrum if an immediate relative is. But it doesn’t always run in families.
  • About 10% of kids with ASD have a form of genetic disorder such as Down syndrome .

From: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): “Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder).”

National Institutes of Health: “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

CDC: “Facts About ASD.”

Autism Speaks: “What Is Autism?” “Asperger Syndrome,” “PDD-NOS.”

Autism Support of West Shore: “Defining Autism.”

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on November 19, 2016

SOURCES:

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): “Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder).”

National Institutes of Health: “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

CDC: “Facts About ASD.”

Autism Speaks: “What Is Autism?” “Asperger Syndrome,” “PDD-NOS.”

Autism Support of West Shore: “Defining Autism.”

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on November 19, 2016

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What are the symptoms of autism?

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