Autism is a childhood brain early developmental disorder that appears during the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s development of usual social and communication skills. Although the exact cause of autism is unknown, there appear to be multiple factors involved, including genetics or heredity.

Other suspected contributing causes, none of which have been proven, include:

· Diet

· Digestive tract changes

· Mercury poisoning

· The body’s inability to properly use vitamins and minerals

· Vaccine sensitivity

The number of children with autism is not known. A recent report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that autism related disorders, now also called Autism Spectrum Disease, or ASD, is more common than previously thought. However, it is unclear whether this is due to an increasing rate of the illness or an increased ability to diagnose it. Autism affects boys 3 – 4 times more often than girls, and family income, education, and lifestyle do not seem to affect the risk of developing autism.

 Signs and symptoms of Autism in addition to social and communication difficulties may include intellectual disability, and difficulties with motor function. On the other hand, some children with autism have outstanding visual skills, or skills in music, art and math.

As early as infancy, a child with autism may be unresponsive to people, or only focus on an object for long periods of time. In some cases, initial development may be normal and signs and symptoms may develop later.

Important: It is increasingly thought by researchers that a woman may decrease her risk of having a child with autism by eating foods rich in Folic acid or vitamins with Folic acid that total at least 600 mcg a day.

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