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Learning About (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder

Updated on August 13, 2013

My Story

Growing up I never realized that may brother was different then the other kids. It wasn't until we got older that I noticed differences between him and the other kids. It wan't until I was a teenager that I learned my brother had Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since then I have been researching and learning more about the disorder. I thought I would share with you the information that I have learned.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) now affects 1 in every 110 children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorder is a term used to describe a group of developmental brain disorders. The term “spectrum” refers to the large range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment that the children of ASD can have. Meaning that there is no one type of autism. Autism appears to have its roots in early child development. The most obvious symptoms tend to become apparent between ages 2 and 3. Children with ASD typically do not follow the typical patterns when developing communication and social skills. In some cases, babies with ASD may seem different very early in development while some develop normally until the second or third year of life.

Their Difficulties

Other than suffering from difficulties with social interactions they often experience difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communications, motor coordination, attention and physical health issues. Although there are disadvantages to having ASD, many of people who experience ASD excel in visual skills, music, math, and art. Also, children with a form of ASD like Asperger syndrome often have average or above-average language skills while 40 percent of people with ASD have average or above-average IQ’s. Although ASD is a somewhat common disorder, there is no clear cause.

Possible Causes

Not too long ago, no one would have any idea of what causes ASD, but now research shows us many possible answers. There is no one cause of autism just how there is no one type of autism. Over the past few years, scientists have identified a variety of rare gene mutations associated with autism. A small number of these rare genes are enough to cause autism. However in many cases, the cause of autism is a combination of these genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development. Environmental stresses prior to the birth or during the birth of the baby may have some effect. This includes advanced parental ages, maternal illness, exposure to toxins, and oxygen deprivation. However, it is important to know that theses factors alone do not cause autism. Most people who develop ASD have no reported family history of autism suggesting that random, rare and possibly many gene mutations are likely to increase a person’s risk. Scientists are now studying how certain environmental factors may affect specific genes turning them on or off or increasing or decreasing their normal activity.

More Information

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    • bmhairst profile image

      bmhairst 6 years ago

      Your welcome :)

    • bmhairst profile image

      bmhairst 6 years ago

      I completely agree. Many people don't even know about Autism.

    • WookieWonderfuls profile image

      WookieWonderfuls 6 years ago from London, UK

      My little brother also has ASD, thank you for this informative hub :)

    • echesnut profile image

      echesnut 6 years ago from Houston, TX Area

      Thank you for sharing your experience and research. The more attention that is brought to ASD the more likely research dollars will be spent.