Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Autism > What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorders?
|

What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorders?

In response to the question, "What causes autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)?" the writer is sorely tempted to reply, "We don't know," and move on to the next chapter. However, no guide to ASDs would be complete without an attempt at explaining the causes of the most recent epidemic to hit our planet.

What Does Not Cause ASDs?

It is infinitely easier to talk about what we know does not cause ASDs. It is known for a fact that ASDs cannot be caught through osmosis, dirty doorknobs, or bad parenting. Other than that, nothing can be said for sure.

Where to Get Updates on the Latest Research

What follows is by no means an exhaustive look at the science behind the causes of autism. The interested reader can follow on a regular basis the latest discoveries and ongoing research. It is best to read the actual study or report than to read summaries and news releases. In order to gain an understanding of this highly controversial topic, the reader is advised to consult a wide variety of websites and journals such as those listed below and form his own opinion:

  • The National Library of Medicine Pubmed (www.ncbi.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi): Use the search engine to find abstracts of any research articles you are interested in reading concerning autism. There are tutorials on the site with instructions for more advanced search techniques. Some abstracts will link you to the full article on the website of the journal where it is published. Some journals will provide full text for free, while others require a subscription or fee.
  • The Medical Research Council (UK) (www.mrc.ac.uk): Information on current research funded by the MRC is listed on its website. The MRC published the "MRC Review of Autism Research: Epidemiology and Causes" in December 2001.
  • The Schafer Autism Report is the largest daily (almost) newspaper on ASDs; edited by Lenny Schafer and available free through the Internet. To subscribe: http://www.sarnet.org. For archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AuTeach/messages.
  • The Autism Research Institute International Newsletter (www.autismresearchinstitute.com): Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., publishes a quarterly newsletter with summaries of current research. The ARI website has information on some research studies.
  • The Autism Society of America (ASA) (www.autism-society.org)often has information about the most important ASD issues being discussed by the media.


More on: Autism

|

Excerpted from Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs©2004 by Chantal Sicile-Kira. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

easter fun
& crafts

Egg-cellent ideas
for tons of
Easter fun.

GO

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.