Biological And Environmental Factors Associated With Autism

1772 Words Nov 9th, 2014 8 Pages
What causes Autism? An overview of biological and environmental factors associated with Autism (ASD)

Myia Hewison
University of Sunderland
PSY246
9th November 2014
Word count
1242

What causes Autism? An overview of biological and environmental factors associated with Autism (ASD)

Autism, otherwise known as autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) has developed significantly over the past few years. There has been much research carried out since its discovery over sixty years ago (Wolff, Narayan & Moyes, 1988), it is now described as a complex syndrome affecting the central nervous system and a developmental disorder that stems from a neurological disorder affecting normal brain function (Volkmar, 2007). This essay will examine both the biological and environmental factors believed to cause ASD, while considering some of the major theories surrounding the condition.
ASD is identified by three distinguishing primary impairments in language, social skills and behavioural flexibility, which are referred to as the Triad of Impairments (Happe’ & Ronald, 2009). Additionally, the primary characteristics that define ASD are often accompanied by various other features such as; learning disabilities, self-injury, aggression, repetition, ritualistic eating, drinking or sleeping behaviours and a compelling need for routine (Happe’ & Ronald, 2009). Diagnosis is often carried out using the Autism Spectrum Quotient or AQ (Baron-Cohen, 2006) and it consists of a fifty item…
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