The causes of autism are currently not known, but significant numbers of studies are underway with a view to learning how it develops.
Researchers have identified several genes that appear to have connections to ASD. Sometimes, these genes arise from spontaneously mutate. In other cases, people may inherit them.
In studies of twins, autism often has a strong correlation between twins. For example, if one twin has autism, the other is likely to have autism an estimated 36 to 95 percent of the time, according to the NINDS.
Those with autism may also undergo changes in key areas of their brains that impact their speech and behavior. Environmental factors might also play a role in the development of ASD, although doctors have not yet confirmed a link.
However, researchers do know that some rumored causes, such as parenting practices, do not cause autism.
Therapies and strategies are available for managing the health issues that often accompany autism. These issues can include epilepsy, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and sleep disturbances.
While not all of these treatments will be effective for all people with ASD, there are many options to consider that may help people cope. Autism specialists or psychologists can refer a person for a treatment that reflects their presentation of autism.