Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability. It impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others and typically appears very early on in childhood. This condition affects all children differently and to varying degrees. The behaviors unique to autism are assigned to a spectrum.
Causes & Symptoms
There is no one single cause of autism, just as there is not a single type of autism. Research indicates that both genetics and environmental factors play a role. Several genes associated with autism have been identified and family studies suggest that autism can be inherited. Researchers have also found differences in brain chemistry and function in children with autism. While the complex causes of autism aren’t completely understood, it is likely that genetic risk factors and environmental stressors combine to affect fetal brain development, resulting in ASD. More research is needed to fully answer this question.
Symptoms vary but may include:
- Communication difficulties
- Social challenges
- Repetitive behaviors
- Restricted range of interests
There is no single test or diagnostic study for autism, although your neurologist may order blood work, brain imaging, or genetic studies to rule out other conditions. Due to the complexity of diagnosing and treating the condition, it’s important to see a medical professional with extensive experience doing so.
There is no cure for ASD, although symptoms can improve over time. ASD is managed using behavioral therapy, speech and occupational therapy, parent training, and school interventions. Medications can be used to treat problems like anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, and aggression that are common in children with ASD.
Autism Diagnosis in Central Austin, Cedar Park, and South Austin, TX
Schedule a consultation with one of our autism specialists at Child Neurology Consultants of Austin by calling (512) 494-4000 or booking an appointment online. We look forward to serving you at one of our three convenient locations in Central Austin, Cedar Park, or South Austin.