Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Asd )

1441 Words Dec 8th, 2014 6 Pages
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a hereditary neurodevelopmental disorder. Like many other psychological disorders, it is commonly misunderstood in popular culture. Many allude to it casually, often equating it with crippling social awkwardness and disability when it is in fact a spectrum disorder with many degrees of severity. It is somewhat of an enigma within the scientific community as well; there are many things we do not know about ASD and there is ongoing research to learn more about the disorder. The purpose of this paper is to explain what is currently known about ASD: general facts, symptoms, prognosis, treatment, and demographics.
A Description of Autism
Autism is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder. It is identifiable by problems with social interaction, problems with speech and communication, and repeated behaviors (See “Symptoms of ASD”). Some who suffer from ASD are also known to possess remarkable cognitive abilities—so-called “savant skills” (Amaral, Geschwind, & Dawson, 2011). However, the severity of ASD is highly variable between different people, hence why it is often referred to as autism spectrum disorder (Ben-Itzchak & Zachor, 2014).
ASD is believed to have primarily genetic causes, but the specific causes are debated, with over fifteen different genes suspected to contribute to autism (Santangelo & Tsatsanis, 2005). Researchers also believe that one’s environment contributes to ASD, as monozygotic (identical) twins do not…

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