Autism is a social development disorder of the brain that was discovered by Leo Kanner in 1943, as well as Hans Asperger a year later while observing children in their behaviors and characteristics. It is considered as a spectrum disorder, which describes how a combination of symptoms and behaviors can be presented (Lai et al.) Although many studies are based upon children, studies show that adults, too, can develop autism (Many Health Woes). Those who suffer from autism have various signs, causes, behavior patterns, and health factors that are associated with the disorder. Over a period of time, many children and adults are classified as autistic. Being able to depict the cause and effects and how these people are treated will provide relief and acceptance to those caring for people with autism.
In the U.S., 1 in 50 are affected by autism. It is estimated that 1 in every 500 display some autistic characteristics. The causes of autism have always been studied and have been new finds each and every time. .
From a neurological perspective, the brain characteristics such as abnormal growth or overgrowth, the volume of the brain. Autism can also be presented in genetic syndromes such as fragile X syndrome. (NINDS) Some research has shown that there may be an autism gene, or two genes working together. The disorder is, in some instances, may be hereditary as shown by twin studies that there is a significantly higher inheritability in identical twins, over eighty percent. (Lai et al.) Also, stress during pregnancy is said to be a factor in the cause of autism by triggering the secretion of stress hormones, which can enter the fetus's bloodstream and affect the developing brain. (Wang) To contribute to the stress, premature births have a high autism risk with the baby weighing less than four pounds. (Bohan) These differences in the structure of the brain show the dysfunction of the neurotransmitters that relay messages to the brain.