What are the genetic causes of autism? In truth, no one really knows. Due to the fact that autism is a spectrum disorder the causes can vary from person to person and case to case. Most experts agree though to some extent that autism is genetically linked, for in families with one autistic child, the risks of another being born increase with each case of autism in the family, especially in regards to males.
Even experts do not have all the answers. A positive though is with more cases of autism occurring every year research funding and grants for the purpose of understanding and possibly preventing or curing autism are on the rise. Causes are questionable and raise many a debate, everything from vaccines to being hereditary and everything in between.
In either regard, no one questions the likelihood of autism being genetic. Despite the fact that the human genome has now been mapped, we are still very unsure of the true nature of genes and how they work and affect our outcome. Researchers have shown though that autism does carry a tendency to run in families. Parents who have an autistic child are more likely to have another one and twins with autism tend to share autistic traits amongst them.
Though we know of the genetic link, it doesn't mean that one gene is responsible for autism. Since it is a spectrum disorder it is quite likely that multiple genes may play a factor in the final outcome and depending on the mutation or absence of the gene or combination of genes a specific form of autism is present. Just like autism has many faces, in all probability, so too will the genes that cause it. So when will we have conclusive causes to the genetic causes of autism? Perhaps never. It is better to think of autism in terms of symptoms, depending on the symptom present the cause may be different. This is why the symbol for autism is a puzzle piece. Autism is a very puzzling disorder, which can overlap other disorders, and have different levels of affect on a persons ability to function.
Genetic causes of autism are undeniable; but just like any genetic related disorder, because we know so little about the true nature of genes we do not truly know the true nature or cause of autism. All we can currently do is support those who have autism and continue to raise awareness and funding towards the research and perhaps potential cure and prevention of autism.
The genetic causes of autism is a great debate. For more possible causes of autism or for more information on autism check out My Autistic World, written by the parent of an autistic child to help other parents.