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Autism in Children Topics..

You are here : home > Autism in Children > Causes of Autism in Children > What Causes Autism in Children

What Causes Autism in Children

Autism in children is a serious issue. Causes of autism in children are still a mystery as no exact cause is known. However, there are some factors which are linked with autism. Let us explore some of the causes of autism in children.

What causes autism in children? Has it got something to with what the parents might have done or not done? Is autism because of one single cause or a combination of factors? Is it possible to pinpoint the cause of autism in a child with certainty? The purpose of this article is to provide answers to some of these questions relating to autism in children.

By performing an internet search for the question "what causes autism" one is bound to come across plenty of answers, some of which may contradict one another. This subject is a controversial one for which there is no definite answer. Despite extensive medical research, the exact cause of this disorder still remains a mystery. Following are details of some of the known specific causes of autism in children which have been identified during the course of research till date.

Vaccines and Autism
- Studies have indicated two types of vaccines which may be linked to autism in children. The first one is MMR -Mumps-Measles-Rubella vaccine which often causes intestinal problems leading to the development of autism. A mercury-based preservative called Thimerosal is used in many vaccines. Research has indicated some connection between autism and vaccines containing this preservative. Although most doctors refute link between these vaccines and autism researchers continue to feel otherwise.

Genetics and Autism
- It is certain that some cases of autism have a genetic basis. Research has indicated that parents from families who already have an autistic child are more likely to have autistic children. The risk of having one more autistic child is higher in case of families where one or more children are already autistic.

Food Allergy and Autism
- Research evidence has suggested that allergy to certain foods is capable of contributing to autistic symptoms. Gluten which is a wheat product and Casein a dairy product are some of the known foods which are the known causes for allergy resulting in autistic symptoms.

Immune Deficiency
- Certain studies have indicated autistic symptoms to be associated with problems in the immune system of the body. However the evidence does not conclusively prove relationship between autism and immune deficiency. What has been noted is that physical issues pertaining to immune deficiency are prominent in some autistic children. Hence many types of treatment for autism concentrate on boosting the immune system.

In addition to some of the above causes which have been documented, certain other probable causes have also been identified by researchers. Research studies to support these probable causes are still underway and merely point to a higher risk of autism linked with older parenthood and certain types of pollution.


There is no one single cause of autism. It is basically caused due to abnormalities in brain function or structure. Brain scans of children suffering from autism show differences in the structure and shape when compared to normal children.

Genes may have a lot to do with autism. In many families there appears to be a pattern of autism which is a clear indication of link between this disorder and genes. However,  no specific gene has been identified as the cause of autism. Till such time that conclusive evidence and proof is available there is no means to verify whether these probable causes of autism are in fact related to the problem or not. This disorder may be a result of combination of a number of factors instead of a single one.

Only in some rare cases it is possible to correctly identify the cause of autism in a child. Majority of parents will never find a definitive answer to the question “what caused autism in my child”.

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