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Clinical geneticist examining boy

Autism Spectrum Disorder Genetics ​

We use a comprehensive approach for patients with autism spectrum disorders, including the most advanced genetic testing, to try and identify an underlying cause of autism in each affected person. Knowledge of familial risk factors for developing the disorder can be extremely beneficial both to the affected individual and his or her family. Certain gene changes or mutations can cause autism by themselves.

Patients and their families are often referred to us to evaluate for a possible inherited cause of autism. The causes of autism are not completely understood however an increasing number of genetic factors have been identified.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder is a general term that refers to a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some individuals with autism excel in visual skills, music, math, and art.