According to data collected and presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one out of every 54 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Those statistics lead many to wonder about its cause, as well as available autism treatment programs. Understanding the causes, including answering the question, “is autism hereditary,” helps identify effective treatments and prevention protocols.
Answering: Is Autism Hereditary?
Information published by Genetics Home Reference indicates that autism does tend to run in families. However, when answering the question, “is autism hereditary,” there is no definitive pattern of occurrence. For example, if someone experiences gene changes related to ASD, then that increases their risk of developing this disorder. In a study published by JAMA Psychiatry, after tracking more than children ages 16 and older, researchers could determine that the cause for autism is inherited genes. This study reveals that more than 80% of the risk of developing autism is genetic.
Autism, which is also referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), could cause significant behavioral, communication, and social challenges. Typically, those who have ASD do not look any different from those who do not. However, what sets those with ASD apart is how they behave, communicate, interact, and learn. The learning, problem-solving, and thinking skills individuals with ASD can range from them being gifted to severely challenged.
While some people with ASD need a significant amount of assistance throughout their daily lives, others need none at all.
It could be difficult to diagnose ASD because it does not have a medical test. When making a diagnosis, physicians and other specialists look at the child’s behavior and development. There are instances when ADS diagnoses can occur in children 18 months or younger. By the time children are two-years-old, parents can rely on the diagnosis of a medical professional.
Identifying the Causes of Autism
It is not uncommon for an autism diagnosis to occur after seeing behavior symptoms instead of looking at potential causes. However, identifying causes helps families and other support networks create and utilize a highly effective autism treatment center for children. In addition to answering the question, “is autism hereditary,” you must also understand other potential causes of this disorder.
- Genetics: Compared to girls, boys are at a higher risk for developing ASD due to the genetic differences with the X chromosome.
- Neurobiological factors: If the genetic code has abnormalities, that leads to the brain developing abnormally, including cognitive and neurobiological abnormalities, functional brain abnormalities, and symptomatic behaviors.
- Environmental factors: Researchers are working to identify pre and postnatal environmental factors that could result in the susceptibility of ASD.
- Exposure to drugs or other toxins: In addition to dietary factors, researchers are also working toward identifying whether or not exposure to drugs or other toxins contributes to ASD.
Embracing Autism Treatment Programs
There is a broad range of effective options for treating autism. They include embracing behavior, communication, and dietary approaches. Medications or complementary or alternative medicine options are also treatment considerations. When using behavior and communication approaches, that could mean the child or teen is participating in ABA therapy programs as part of an early intervention program for autism. More behavior and communication approaches include assistive technology, “Floortime,” occupational therapy, social skills training, and speech therapy.
Dietary approaches could include determining if biomedical interventions are going to require changes in the patient’s diet. For example, parents might have to remove some foods from their child’s diet and replace them with supplements. These treatments work on the idea that food allergies and vitamin deficiencies contribute to ASD symptoms. Some parents indicate that these changes result in their child behaving and feeling better.
When the question comes up, “is autism hereditary,” that might lead to searching for treatment options. During that search, you must have the best support on your side. Contact your doctor today to receive answers to questions and concerns and learn more about potential treatments.