Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning that problems in brain development cause autism. Scientists are searching for answers about what causes these development problems. Studies suggest:
- Autism seems to run in some families; several genes may be involved.
- Problems during pregnancy or delivery may interfere with normal brain development.
- Something in the environment that a child is exposed to may be a factor.
These factors increase your chance of developing autism:
- Sex: male (Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.)
- Family history: Siblings of a child with autism have a 3%-7% chance of being autistic.
- A number of other conditions are associated with autism, although the relationship between them is not clear:
The Conditions Above Primarily Affect the Central Nervous System
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