The cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder has been at the forefront of research for quite some time. Parents want and need answers, and researchers have worked tirelessly in hopes of providing just that. As theories come and go, new evidence was revealed this week that could shed some light on this mysterious disorder.
A study conducted by UC San Diego asserts that Autism is best understood (to date) as a mechanism of abnormal gene activity in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The study is a first of its kind and is still awaiting confirmation in the scientific realm, meaning it still needs replication. However, this new information could indicate that the disruptions that occur in the brain of persons with Autism occur during pregnancy, not after birth.
While these results are far from conclusive, they do aspire to point future studies in a direction and that direction is of hope to find the underlying mechanisms by which scientists can begin to formulate theories for prevention.
Applied Behavior Analysis
To date there is no one-size-fits-all “cure” for Autism, but there is a scientifically validated procedure that can help those affected acquire the skills necessary to live a full and satisfying life. Over 30 years of research has demonstrated that an intense Applied Behavior Analysis program does lead to significant, permanent changes in the life outcomes of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
*Disclaimer: the author of this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Behavioral Foundations, rather this post is simply restating what has been discovered and its possible implications for future research.
Read the full research article at: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307491