Autism Is A Mental Condition

Decent Essays
Paige Ford
Mr. D’Angelo
English 12, period 5
31 October 2015

Autism affects every 1 in 68 children in America, autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. What causes autism? A short while ago, the answer to this question would have been “we have no clue.” Research is now bringing us the answers. First, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. In the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. There has been more than a hundred autism risk genes identified. In around 15 percent of cases, a specific genetic cause of a person’s autism can be identified. In the presence of a genetic bias to autism, a number of nongenetic, or environmental, influence further increase a child’s risk. The coherent evidence of these environmental risk factors includes events before and during birth. They include progressive parental age at time of conception, maternal illness during pregnancy, extreme prematurity and highly low birth weight and certain difficulties during birth, especially those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. Mothers threatened by high levels of pesticides and air pollution could also be at higher risk of having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A small but growing body of research
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