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What causes autism?

ANSWER

Because autism runs in families, genes likely play a role. Other risks include:

  • Mothers and fathers who have children late in life
  • Pregnant woman who drink alcohol or have conditions like diabetes and obesity
  • Pregnant women who take antiseizure drugs
  • Untreated phenylketonuria (called PKU, a metabolic disorder caused by the absence of an enzyme) and rubella (German measles)

There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism. The exact reason why autism happens isn't clear.

SOURCE: 

American Academy of Pediatrics: Pediatrics 2010. 

Parker, S., Zuckerman, B., and Augustyn, M. (editors). Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: A Handbook for Primary Care, Lippincott, 2005.

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5 (DSM-5

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on October 22, 2019

SOURCE: 

American Academy of Pediatrics: Pediatrics 2010. 

Parker, S., Zuckerman, B., and Augustyn, M. (editors). Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: A Handbook for Primary Care, Lippincott, 2005.

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5 (DSM-5

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on October 22, 2019

From: Autism

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When do signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show up?

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