Autism spectrum disorder is a condition that affects brain development, affecting how a person perceives and socializes with other people. This disorder causes problems in social interaction and communication, based on the severity of the condition.
Symptoms and severity of Autism spectrum disorder vary from one person to another. You may notice symptoms early when a child is still an infant. Others develop symptoms at around 2 years of age.
Each child with autism spectrum disorder has a unique pattern of behavior and severity. Here are the most common symptoms of this specific disorder:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Unfamiliarity with social cues
- Impaired social functioning
- Intense focus on one item
- Repetitive movement
- Lack of empathy
- Self-abusive behavior like head-banging
- Sudden withdrawal and aggressive behavior
- Difficulty learning
There is no known cause for autism spectrum disorder, but risk factors include;
Children with parents or siblings with autism spectrum disease are at a higher risk of having autism spectrum themselves.
Certain genetic conditions such as fragile x syndrome also increase the chances of having autism spectrum disorders.
- Medication use during pregnancy
Using medicines like Sodium valproic acid and thalidomide during pregnancy increases your child’s risk of autism spectrum.
- Age of the parents
It is believed that children born to older parents are at a higher risk of being having autism disorder.
Doctors should recommend genetic testing to anyone suspected of having Autism. With the help of a genetic counselor, the patient or their parents should know what the test is all about, what the test will provide, and interpret the results.
A genetic test identifies chromosomes, genes, and protein changes in DNA to confirm or rule out a genetic condition. Some of these changes or mutations are responsible for medical conditions like seizures, obesity, and kidney disease.
Genetic testing is not for diagnosis of the condition since no single gene causes autism. However, genetic testing can explain why their child may be on the autism spectrum.
Genetic tests for Autism spectrum disorders includes figuring out the specific genetic sequence and how it is relevant to the disease state.
- It helps you know the kind of treatment that may benefit the child.
- It helps identify any mutations that may relate to autism spectrum disease.
- It helps the parent learn whether the child can pass the condition to their children.
- Knowing specific risks associated with mutations can help a parent decide if they want more children.
- It can create a connection between people with a shared mutation.
- Genetic testing helps you with how the disease is expected to progress.
Healthcare providers need to normalize genetic testing after diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. It will help you manage your patient better and improve your patient’s outcome.