For parents of young kids who show symptoms of autism—delayed speech development, lack of social development, and repetitive or restrictive actions—early diagnosis and treatment are the best methods to help autistic kids learn as much social interaction as possible.
Although autism diagnosis usually comes around age three, Autism Awareness in parents, as well as improved diagnostic methods, are leading to younger and younger diagnoses.
What is autism caused by?—a spontaneous mutation in the exome in the DNA. Although it can occur in either the sperm or the egg, it’s four times more likely to occur in the sperm, and the probability that it happens in either increases with parents’ age. The mutation only seems to lead to autism if it occurs in DNA that affects the brain—-otherwise it’s mostly harmless.
Three different publications have identified the marker, and there are several other possible genetic culprits being studied. (Remember—Autism is largely an umbrella word at this point, so different genetic factors likely lead to different manifestations).
As part of Autism Awareness Month, be sure to watch for events that may be happening in your area.
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