Etiological Theories Of Autism Spectrum Disorder Essay

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Etiological Theories of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
A Review of the Literature
Nova Southeastern University

Within the last twenty years, the amount of empirical research regarding the possible cause(s) and risk factors for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased (Lai et al., 2014). According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASD is currently identified in approximately 1 out of 68 children living in the United States, compared to 1 in 10,000 children in 1980 (Baio, 2014). The rise in ASD prevalence highlights the need to continue research into etiology, risk factors, and effective treatments. Purpose: This paper is a critical review of current scientific studies that have focused on the ASD population about etiology of the disorder, susceptibility, and prevalence. Theories and factors that appear to influence or predict ASD outcome are reviewed. Method: Twenty-two research articles published between January 1, 2009, and November 1, 2014, in scientific, peer-reviewed journals were retrieved from the following electronic databases: ProQuest, CINAHL Complete, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The articles were evaluated for risk of bias. Results: Recent findings suggest autism is a disorder caused by interplay of multiple genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors.

Keywords: Autism, ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder; in combination with: Etiology and/or Cause, Genetic Risk Factors,
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