If you’re a parent with an autistic child, you may be spending much of your time scratching your head, pacing and wondering what you’ve done wrong. In most cases, parents take the blame unnecessarily, so you can stop beating your head against the wall. Although there may be links to certain prenatal behaviors, the causes of autism in babies have more to do with the environment and genetics than you might suspect.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall far From the Tree
Autism is a multifaceted developmental disability, and there is no single cause for the disorder. However, research has shown that it may have a genetic foundation. This means if Grandma Betty or Uncle Rich are autistic, the family genetic code has been compromised, which increases the likelihood of your baby developing the condition. If your child is autistic, you can probably blame biology more than anything.
In some cases, volatile genes may inhibit brain development, which means some babies are just susceptible to autism. When there is already a history of the disorder in the family, the risk of a vulnerable baby developing autism increases. Unfortunately, heredity involves more than just passing on your killer sapphire eyes or untamed auburn locks. Parents who have one autistic child may be at a higher risk for having a second child with the disability.
Life on the Prenatal Planet
Genetics aren’t the only contributing factors when it comes to a baby developing autism. In many cases, the prenatal environment is the culprit. When a pregnant female is exposed to chemical contaminants, such as traffic-related air pollution, pesticides and certain metals, the unborn baby is at risk. Exposure outside the womb can also trigger autism if the baby is genetically vulnerable to the disorder.
Maintaining a healthy prenatal atmosphere may reduce the risk of autism in babies. Nutritional deficiencies, antibiotic and antidepressant usage, persistent high fever and the development of infections or influenza during pregnancy can compromise the wellness of a fetus. Even the mother’s age can adversely affect the cozy little nook an unborn baby resides in. Autism has been linked to low birth weight and other neonatal complications as well.
Playing the Blame Game
Some theories connect autism with certain genetic disorders, food allergies, mercury-based vaccines and anti-seizure medications taken during pregnancy. With so many possibilities, pointing fingers like an injured toddler on a playground can be futile. Getting a diagnosis as early as possible is more worthwhile. There are numerous facilities that can provide the proper psychological testing in NYC and other major cities around the world.
Although some causes of autism are easy to detect, many parents don’t ever obtain definitive answers. New evidence is continually uncovered regarding the disorder’s origins, which can annihilate even the most gratifying aha moments. Autism is a sneaky and mysterious foe, and getting answers can be as frustrating as the disability itself. Parents facing this struggle may find relief simply by taking action and getting early treatment.