Causes Of ASD In BabiesLeave a Comment
ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a developmental disorder of the brain and has become “an emerging epidemic” in America. According to the CDC, in the last decade there has been an 18% increase in the prevalence of babies developing ASD. Although the exact causes of ASD in babies are unsettled in the scientific community, many researchers argue that the symptoms of ASD are the “hallmarks of the disease” and can be linked to common household items, particular diets, and even the use of topical lotions and beauty products during pregnancy.
Environmental Causes of ASD In Babies To Avoid When Pregnant
Some of the common environmental factors that researchers agree pregnant mothers should avoid to help lower the risk of their child developing ASD in the womb include the following below.
- Using pesticides and herbicides in the home and yard
- Smoking tobacco and exposure to second hand smoke
- Pesticides commonly found on fresh fruits and veggies
- Artificial ingredients and chemical fragrances in beauty and household products
- BPA found in common household containers and canned goods
- Triclosan which is an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent found in consumer products such as toothpaste and antibacterial soap
Although exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy has indicated that ASD may begin during the early stages of fetus development, researchers at Harvard Medical School have also linked genetic factors as well as environmental factors to be associated with the development of ASD in babies. Other “…environmental risk factors that can influence changes in a gene’s DNA include parental age at conception, maternal nutrition, infection during pregnancy and prematurity” (Autism Speaks, 2016). According to the National Institute of Environmental health Sciences, gene changes, mutations and variations are also linked to causes of ASD in babies.
Characteristics Associated With ASD
Each ASD case can vary in severity and symptoms, but some of the most common ones are:
- Social setbacks including difficulty communicating and interacting with others
- Frequent repetition when performing tasks and daily routines
- Limited interest in activities
Symptoms are often recognized within the first two years of life. Symptoms manifest to not only affect a child’s social life, but may also cause intellectual disabilities and development abnormalities as well. A child with ASD may lack the ability to speak or understand and/or may show no interest in communicating, according to Dr. Marilyn Augustyn, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. This often times concerns parents to the point of seeking medical attention.
Treatments For ASD
Early treatment is the best way to combat some of the symptomatic challenges caused by ASD. Beginning early treatment with a child who has ASD will help them learn new skills, identify their strengths and help reduce future difficulties such as lack of interaction with family or friends. There are various types of resources to help aid in the therapy of ASD. These range from autism experts who can put together helpful intervention plans and suggest special programs to autism support groups. These groups can help parents and caregivers become educated, reduce stress and receive advice when making difficult decisions. Medication is commonly used to treat symptoms of ASD including irritability, hyperactivity and aggression. However, studies have shown that natural remedies such as adjusted diets, supplementing and reducing inflammation helps individuals have fewer problems with ASD characteristics.
Therapies And Other ASD Resources
Testing and assessing a child with ASD after birth is a crucial part of diagnosis and early treatment. Establishing a good relationship with a Pediatrician will help give your child an accurate autism diagnosis and treatment plan. The role of a pediatrician is ongoing throughout the development of a child with ASD. A pediatrician will measure the progress of a child by assessing strengths and weaknesses in areas of life such as moving, thinking and communicating.
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