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ERIC Number: EJ872855
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Searching for the Causes of Autism
Kaufmann, Walter E.; Silverman, Wayne
Exceptional Parent, v40 n2 p30, 32-33 Feb 2010
A March 16, 2009 New York Times headline read, "An Outbreak of Autism, or a Statistical Fluke?" While this article focused narrowly on Somali families relocated to the Minneapolis area, the headline applies equally well to the broader national picture of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and it represents a compelling illustration of the lack of knowledge about the cause(s) of autism that still persists today. Many people believe that they have been experiencing an "autism epidemic," with around one in every 150 children currently diagnosed with ASD. There is no debate about the fact that this is an enormous increase from historical experience, but the root causes of this increase remain a mystery. People know that ASDs are caused by atypical brain development, but the specific factors involved remain unknown. While many possible causes have been discussed, there are strong indications that genetics play an important role. This evidence includes the fact that the odds of being affected increase dramatically if a close relative has ASD and that certain known genetic disorders, like Fragile X syndrome, increase vulnerability.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A