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There may be many different causes for the multiple conditions under the autism spectrum. Though environmental factors are believed to play a role, the exact causes have not been identified. Currently there are no confirmed steps to prevent autism. However, if you have family members with genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, you should consider genetic testing or counseling before becoming a parent. If you are pregnant, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions and get prenatal tests as advised.

References:

Autism spectrum disorder. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml. Updated October 2016. Accessed March 14, 2017.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html. Updated October 21, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2017.



Last reviewed March 2017 by Adrian Preda, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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