There are several different hypotheses regarding the main cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However the only cause that has been backed up securely is that it's base is genetic. Suspicions that Autism doesn't have a single case have no reliable back up and mistake aspects of the base with consequential variations through sensory sensitivities.
Genetic factors are the most significant cause. Early studies of twins had estimated that genetics explain over 90% of whether a child will develop autism. No other cause has been proven and only speculated.
Autism is a lifelong difference that cannot be removed or "cured." Treatments for autistic people focus on the individual's specific difficulties so that they can live a happy and potentially productive life.
- Behavioral and communication therapies: A number of programs are available to manage the problems associated with autism. Such programs focus on managing and reducing behavioural problems and improving the learning skills. Some programs address the problems pertaining to social and communication skills.
- Complementary approaches: In a number of cases, some sort of complementary approaches are also applied to above two types of treatments. Such complementary approaches "include art therapy, music therapy, special diets, vitamin and mineral supplements, and sensory integration — which focuses on reducing a child's hypersensitivity to touch or sound." However, these therapies are still in experimental stage, and their effect on autism has not been conclusively proved.
Many members of the autistic community are worried by research into the origins of autism. They argue that this research is not done on their behalf, but on the behalf of family members who don't like putting up with their differences. They believe that autism has shaped their identities and perception of the world and that it is a fundamental part of who they are.
S. E. Smith's article on "Tiger Beatdown" explains:
When you’re talking about ‘curing’ autism, you’re talking about getting rid of human beings. The attitude is reinforced in the kinds of ‘awareness’ campaigns [that Autism Speaks] is involved in, which routinely position autistic people as a burden to their parents and society in general. The overall message sent in these campaigns is that autism is a terrible, bad, no-good, horrible thing and that people saddled with an autistic child live in misery and woe.
Some parents might believe autism "is... a demonic foe that must be defeated at all costs."
The child ceases to be seen as a sentient person and instead is treated as if they were a battleground for a cosmic struggle between good and evil."
The attempt to separate a child from autism has been sown to lead to lower self-esteem and may cause the child to contemplate or attempt suicide.
Many autistic people are concerned that finding the cause of autism would lead to eugenic abortion and might affect social views of diversity. Ultimately, they believe that autistic people are not "lesser" and that autism research should focus on helping autistic people instead of eliminating them.
- Autism - causes - from Mayo Clinic
- Autistic Spectrum - A resource for High Functioning Autism and Aspergers syndrome
- Freitag, C M (10 October 2006). "The genetics of autistic disorders and its clinical relevance: a review of the literature". Molecular Psychiatry. 12 (1): 2–22. doi:10.1038/sj.mp.4001896. PMID 17033636.