Autism Signs

Do autism signs run in your family?

It is very likely underlying autism causes have a genetic basis. Genes are the "blueprints for life." Genes make up human DNA -- the molecules which tell our bodies and minds how to grow, how to work, how to handle disease, and much more. Despite the fact that scientists have described and cataloged the entire human gene system, they still don’t know exactly how genes work.

Researches don’t know if a single gene is responsible for causing autism signs in individuals. They don't know if genetics is the only risk factor for autism causes. Most researchers believe that a combination of several genetic differences, plus some form of environmental triggers may lead to the autistic spectrum disorders.

Some people with autism signs have other conditions such as epilepsy, mental illness, bi-polar disorder, gastrointestinal issues, and sleep disorders. Others have none of those conditions but have high sensory sensitivities. Some are hyperactive, others are not. It is possible that many different genes are accountable and different sets of genes are responsible for diverse behaviors in different people.

My private theory is that eventually, it will be found that the above conditions affect a certain number of autistic individuals in the same manner and maybe even the same percentages as the general population. So . . . once more studies are conducted and tabulated, even the scientific community may realize autistic individuals are just people too.

Several organizations are in the process of collecting information about families which include autistic people. The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange is one such organization. They, along with several other institutions, actively solicit family involvement in research programs to find out more about genetics and how it relates to the autism spectrum symtomes. This information is freely shared with the research community. Their raw data is leading to a greater understanding of the role of heredity.

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