What causes autism

Nobody really knows what cause autism; it may be a mix of genetic and/or environmental factors. Autism often runs or clusters in some families or generations of families, but it can also appear out of nowhere. It’s common for identical twins to both be autistic but not always so. There are variants of genes that when present, lead to a genetic predisposition to autism but having those genes does not guarantee that you would be autistic. This strengthens the case that genes and environment may work together.

Substantial research has found no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any of the following contribute to autism spectrum condition (ASC).

What does not cause autism

  • MMR vaccine – Completely debunked.
  • Thiomersal – a mercury compound used as a preservative in some vaccines.
  • Upbringing – cold, stand-offish o reserved parenting.
  • Diet – gluten or dairy products.
  • Pollution- pollution has been linked with a reduction in cognitive development, but the level of pollution would be an order of magnitude greater than most children would ever be exposed to.
  • Maternal infections in pregnancy.

The conspiracy theory that we are in the midst of an autism epidemic has arisen as a tactic by the anti-vax movement as an argument that vaccines are causing autism spectrum condition. What is happening, however, is that more children are being spotted and diagnosed, while the stigma of autism is lessening, making more parents willing to seek diagnoses for their suspicions. In past decades children would have been called naughty, loner, anti-social, troubled or just a bit strange.

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