Conditions InDepth: Autism
These pages are addressed to the parents of a child who has autism.
Autism spectrum disorders, which include autism,
The exact cause of autism is not known. But, researchers have identified the following factors that may increase a person's risk of developing autism:
- Genetic factors
- Environmental factors
- Problems during pregnancy or delivery that could interfere with brain development
- Exposure to environmental toxins
Autism. American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/autism.cfm . Accessed March 6, 2009.
Autism Society of America. Autism 101 course. Autism Society of America website. Available at: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_course. Accessed June 15, 2010.
Autism spectrum disorders (pervasive developmental disorders). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-pervasive-developmental-disorders/index.shtml . Updated April 2008. Accessed September 11, 2008.
National Center on Birth Defects and Environmental Disabilities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/ . Updated June 2008. Accessed September 11, 2008.
Prevalence of the autism spectrum disorders in multiple areas of the United States, surveillance years 2000 and 2002. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: . http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/addmprevalence.htm . Updated February 8, 2007. Accessed March 6, 2009.
Rapin I. An 8-year-old boy with autism. JAMA . 2001;285:1749-1757.
What causes autism. Autism Society of America website. Available at: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatcauses . Updated January 2008. Accessed September 11, 2008.
12/31/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Rice C. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2009;58(SS10):1.
Last reviewed December 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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