Autism and Genetics Essay

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. This is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. The goal of this paper is to determine whether autism is genetic or not. According to the research you will see how genes and autism relate to how those with autism communicate, interact, and behave. Thus the end of this term paper you as the reader can have a better understanding of why genetics is an important role in autism.Statistics and research will show where the number of growth in autism is rank and why getting the right treatments can help control this disorder. Genetics and Autism: What is Autism? Autism is a spectrum disorder (ASD) range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

For example when Monika went over to her new friend Stacey’s house, she met Stacey’s 4-year-old brother, Shawn. “Hi,” said Monica, smiling. Shawn glanced at her and said nothing.Then he turned back to a toy he was holding. Later, in Stacy’s room, Monika said, “I don’t think your brother likes me. ” It’s not your fault,” explained Stacey. “Shawn has autism.

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” This is what is like to be autistic. ASD will last throughout a person’s life. It is sometimes called a “developmental disability” because it usually starts before age three, in the developmental period, and because it causes delays or problems in many different skills that arise from infancy to adulthood.

(According to Autism Research at the NICHD. In autism and genes. Retrieved May 2005, from www. nichd. ih. gov.

) Although ASD varies radically in character, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that 200 children out of every 2,000 will have an ASD. Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females due to recent studies led by a team of scientists who have discovered that males who carry specific genetic alterations on their X-chromosome have an elevated risk for developing autism spectrum disorder. Genetics and Autism: Genetic connection with autism A gene is the basic physical and functional unit of heredity.

Genes, which are made up of DNA, act as instructions to make molecules called proteins. (According to Campbell, Reece & Simon; Essential Biology with Physiology. ) Scientists do not know why some children have autism. Studies have found that people with autism have differences in the structure of their cerebellums.

Research is still unclear to be able to draw conclusions to biological and genetic causes. Scientists have only identified one specific genetic connection with autism. A genetic syndrome called, fragile X syndrome. This syndrome is a discovered form of genetically caused “mental retardation.

Both sexes are affected by fragile X syndrome, with males usually being more affected by than women. According to Pub Med Health center: Fragile X syndrome is caused by a change in a gene called FMR1. A small part of the gene code is repeated on a fragile area of the X chromosome. The more repeats, the more likely there is to be a problem The FMR1 gene makes a protein needed for your brain to grow properly.

A defect in the gene makes your body produce too little of the protein, or none at all. Boys and girls can both be affected, but because boys have only one X chromosome, a single fragile X is likely to affect them more severely.You can have fragile X syndrome even if your parents do not have it. A family history of fragile X syndrome, developmental problems, or intellectual disability may not be present. In Conclusion from my research and my personal experience since I work with children who have autism, I have discovered that autism is a serious illness that is increasing.

According to “The National Autistic Statistics” 1 out of 150 Children were diagnosed with autism in 1948 today 200 out of 2000 children are diagnosed with autism. This shows a mayor increase since hen they were first diagnosing the issue. Autism is a lifelong disability nothing can be done about the autism itself. Certain symptoms however can be relieved with medication. With knowledge of autism you can avoid aggravating the situation for children with autism. Through education and knowledge people with autism can considerably improve their level of functioning and quality of life. Therefore, even though some studies might say that autism is genetics, there is still research and trials being made so for now the cause of autism is still fully unknown.

ReferencesCampbell, Reece & Simon: (2010) Essential Biology with Physiology. Pearson/Benjamin Cummings 3rd edition. Steffenburg. (1989). Autism Research at the NICHD. In autism and genes. Retrieved May 2005, from www. nichd.

nih. gov. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), 4th Edition, Washington, D. C. , and American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

Blakeslee Sandra, February 8, 2008 “Focus Narrows in Search for Autism’s Cause” The New York Times.


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