Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex condition that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. While there is no known way to prevent ASD, early diagnosis and intervention can help improve behavior, skills, and language development. However, intervention is useful at any age. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and non-genetic or environmental influences.
These influences seem to increase a child's risk of developing autism, but they do not necessarily cause it. Most of these influences seem to affect crucial aspects of early brain development, such as the way nerve cells communicate with each other or the way entire regions of the brain communicate with each other. In addition to early diagnosis and intervention, there are several steps that biological parents can take to reduce the risk of their child having autism. These include avoiding infection during pregnancy, ensuring that the child receives all recommended vaccinations, and being aware of any age milestones that the child may miss.
Finally, it is important to be aware of any comorbid psychopathologies that may arise during childhood or adolescence. If you suspect that your child may have autism, it is important to share your concerns with your child's doctor right away. With early diagnosis and intervention, it is possible to improve quality of life for those living with autism.