A Closer Look At Autism

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the way a person communicates and interacts with others. It is estimated that 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Understanding autism can be difficult, but it’s important to take the time to learn more about it so that we can better support those who live with this condition. Let’s take a closer look at what autism is and how it can affect someone’s life.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects how people communicate and interact with others. People on the autism spectrum may have difficulty understanding social cues, such as facial expressions or body language, which can lead to difficulty forming relationships and communicating effectively. They may also experience sensory sensitivities, such as being easily overwhelmed by loud noises or bright lights, as well as difficulty regulating their emotions.

Autism can range from mild to severe, meaning that some people on the spectrum may need more support than others. For example, some people may require an entirely different educational environment while others may only need minimal assistance in certain areas of their life. The key is to identify each individual’s needs and provide them with the appropriate level of support.

What Causes Autism?

Let’s take a closer look at the possible causes of autism.


Many experts believe that genetics play an important role in the development of autism. Studies have found that siblings and twins of autistic individuals have an increased risk of developing the disorder. In addition, research has indicated that certain genetic mutations may increase the risk for autism, such as fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, etc.

Environmental Factors

Research suggests that environmental factors may also contribute to the development of ASD. Exposure to certain toxins during pregnancy or early childhood can increase the risk for autism. Additionally, maternal infections during pregnancy can also increase the likelihood of developing autism in children. Research has also suggested that prenatal exposure to high levels of air pollution can be linked to an increased risk for ASD.

Neurological Abnormalities

Studies suggest that neurological abnormalities in certain areas of the brain can lead to deficits associated with an autism spectrum disorder. These abnormalities include differences in size and structure in certain brain regions as well as abnormal connections between neurons within the brain. Certain changes or delays in brain development may also be linked to ASD; researchers are currently working on identifying which specific abnormalities are associated with this condition.

Immune System Dysfunction

Research has suggested that immune system dysfunction may be linked to ASD as well; this could explain why some individuals with ASD have an increased susceptibility to infections and autoimmune disorders such as allergies and asthma. Increased inflammation throughout the body has been observed in some individuals with ASD, suggesting that there is a link between immune system dysfunction and this condition. It is unclear whether these changes occur before or after birth but further research into this area could help provide more insight into how immune system dysfunction contributes to ASD symptoms and severity levels.

Treatment Options for Autism

There are various treatments available for individuals on the autism spectrum, including behavioral therapy and medications designed to reduce symptoms associated with ASD. Behavioral therapy focuses on helping individuals learn new skills and acquire new knowledge so that they can become more independent and better able to communicate effectively with those around them.

Medications may be prescribed to help ease symptoms related to anxiety or depression, which are common among people living with ASD.  Additionally, there are also therapies geared towards helping individuals cope with sensory issues such as noise sensitivity or light sensitivity. Regardless of what type of treatment is chosen, it should always be tailored specifically to meet each individual’s unique needs.

Autistic individuals all have different needs when it comes to managing their condition; there isn’t just one “right way” for everyone on the spectrum. It’s important for us all to take the time to understand autism so we can provide better support for those living with this condition. With proper diagnosis, treatment options, and ongoing support from family and friends, autistic individuals have every opportunity to reach their goals and lead fulfilling lives!