Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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Autism Spectrum Disorder – Causes, Reasons, and Treatment

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a developmental disability that affects people’s personalities based on how they interact with the world. However, Sparks and Dager define ASD as “a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs one’s ability to communicate and interact with others.” Various ASD definitions are known to be universal since they recognize it as a spectral condition. In his study, Umekage indicates that ASD is a hidden disability coupled with fetal brain damage as well as impairment of neural vitro development. Characterized by interests, activities, and repetitive behaviors, ASD is so complex that it varies from one case to another. Despite various studies on the reasons, causes, and treatment of ASD, there is a relatively unknown rationale for its causes. Chandler and Baird posit that people with ASD need different kinds of support since their ways of development and learning differ from every individual. The aim of this paper is to discuss the causes, reasons, and treatment of ASD.

Causes of ASD

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Although there are undetermined causes of ASD, scientists as well as medical practitioners believe that an amalgamation of genetic and environmental factors are the two major causes of ASD (Fitzgerald and Geschwind, 2013). To start with, the cause of ASD via genetic factors is not a simple process, but a complex of progression that involves multiple genes.

Causes of ASD – Genetics

Autism Spectrum Disorder

As indicated by Schechtman's study, the rate of ASD development in identical twins as well as monozygotic is higher than rates in dizygotic and same-sex fraternal twins. This indicates that fraternal twins only share some genes, while identical twins have equal genes and therefore genes contribute much to autism. More so, Brothers, as well as sisters of children with autism, have a high level of autism. From another perspective, Smith, and John in their research attributed that siblings share certain problems such as language as well as learning difficulties if one of the siblings has autism. However, it is not clear if autism is inherited as well as more general predisposition difficulties.

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Causes of ASD – Environmental Factors

Secondly, ASD can be caused by environmental factors. Environmental toxins such as mercury and thimerosal vaccines cause autism stems. More so, congenital rubella infection is one of the environmental factors that cause ASD. However, Goin-Kochel and Myers dispute that there are any clarity environmental factors causing ASD and therefore more studies need to be done. Rich and Isager  adds “some of the evidence proposed for environmental factors is based on case reports, which are often difficult to interpret.”

Reasons for ASD

ASD as mentioned earlier, ASD can be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, however, we have reasons ASD occurs. First, Autism exists when a single gene known as fragile X syndrome (FXS) exists in the blood. FXS is defined as a syndrome that is coupled with autism as well as intellectual disability. As per Wehner and Hagerman, “Whereas ASD is a behavioral diagnosis, FXS is a medical, or more accurately, genetic diagnosis and therefore when associated with FXS, ASD is caused by the genetic change or mutation in the Fragile X gene.” This alters normal blood circulation, hence ASD. Secondly, individuals are affected by ASD when tuberous sclerosis, chromosome 15q, and other genetic conditions subsist.

ASD Treatment – Medications

Core symptoms associated with ASD have no medication and cure, but we have medications that help to manage high energy levels of ASD, seizures, inability to focus as well as depression symptoms. The first treatment method utilized during ASD is the early intervention service. This method improves an individual’s development, especially children with ASD. These services, such as vitamin therapy, auditory training, facilitated communication and physical therapy improve children's talk, interaction, and walk. Early intervention services attribute the theory of mind as an explanatory ASD theory that reflects on the symptom criteria (A) of the DSM-5. As per Gallese and Goldman, the theory of mind was created by Uta Frith, Alan Leslie, and Simon Baron-Cohen in 1985 to explain communication persistence as well as social interaction for people with ASD.

ASD Treatment – Behaviours and Communication

The second method used for ASD treatment is the behaviors and communication approaches. This method involves direct, organized, and structural ways for people with ASD to participate in given pediatric events and medication. As per Burrell and Borrego, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is utilized as a treatment of ASD via behavior and communication approach to encourage positive and discourage negative behaviors hence improving various skills needed during ASD treatment. This is in relation to the theory of executive dysfunction which states, “Executive functions (EF) are a set of cognitive skills that are put into practice through autonomous activities.” Most of these EF skills are utilized by ASD patients to boost their flexibility, organization, objectives, and goals, anticipation as well as to be able to control their impulses. Thirdly, ASD can be treated through dietary approaches. Changes in diet, such as using certain foods, mineral supplements, and vitamins help to treat certain ASD effects. However, Talalay and Zimmerman (2014) posit that although the dietary approach is considered as one of the ASD treatment, there is no scientific support and recommendation. Finally, ASD can be treated using complementary and alternative treatments. Treatments associated with complementary and alternative approaches include chelation, biological such as secretin, special diets and body-based systems.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the aim of this paper was to discuss the causes, reasons, and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Being a hidden disability coupled with fetal brain damage as well as impairment of neural vitro development, ASD has varied and complex behaviors hence there is the unknown treatment for core symptoms. Generally, ASD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as genes inheritance and environmental toxins respectively. Some of the treatments for ASD as discussed included the use of the early intervention services, the behaviors and communication approaches, dietary approaches, and complementary and alternative treatments. Characterized by interests, activities, and repetitive behaviors, ASD is so complex that it varies from one case to another and therefore its treatments depend on an individual case.

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Reference

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). (2018, Oct 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/autism-spectrum-disorder-asd/

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