Biological Basis of Autism Spectrum Disorders

The problem should be identified from the starting learning process of a child. It can be getting worse if left untreated condition for each passing days. So, treatment should be started as early as possible and most importantly to a good and experienced doctor. These children with autism have some abnormality. These abnormalities helps to identify the autism suffered people. According to the psychiatrists the abnormalities can be seen in social relationship, communication, lack of focus in normal play, respective behaviors etc. These are main disorder of all kind of autism spectrum disorders.

We are going to discuss all those abnormalities in details and some other important facts about Autism Spectrum Disorders and some important aspects of treatment are going to be discussed in this essay. We have to keep in mind that this cannot be healed without special care, attention of both parents and doctor. A child with autism can be compared with people who are living in different county where language, culture and all other social features are different from what he is used to. According to the total concept, meaning, perception of a child of autism is different from the usual one


As the name suggests Autism Spectrum Disorders there can be various type of difference with various characteristic. The therapist should be aware of that. By the continuous therapy and parent’s special care they can be healed over time. It is going to be discussed here that the various spectrum or type of this autism and their characteristic and some treatment methods.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is one kind of neurodevelopmental disorder. It is also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder which affects the male children basically. The basic factor behind this disorder is Mercury (Hg) and dental fillings, fish, herbicides etc. are the ubiquitous source of this heavy metal in human body. If the elevated Hg concentrates in the brain for several years then this ASD can arise because Hg acts as a neurodevelopmental poison and it affects the neuronal cell migration. The cell degeneration and death are the ultimate results of the Hg concentration in this way. The ASD and its developmental regression symptoms follow in the fetal and in the early childhood according to the case reports of the patients of ASD due to the exposure of Hg. The exposure to Hg is linked with the elevated risk of diagnosed patient of ASD by the epidemiological studies (Yui et al, 2012). From the findings of Wang and Slikker (2011) it is clear that the matters which are similar to traits are neurological, immune, motor, behavioral dysfunctions and sensory are associated with ASDs. Synergistic neurotoxicity results into the sexual dimorphism related to the ASDs and the reason is the interaction of testosterone and Hg whereas the estrogen mitigates the toxicity of the matter, Hg and reacts as a protection in this regard. The patients of ASD are treated and evaluated by the clinical geneticist using the wealth of biomarkers.

Description of Autism Spectrum Disorders

The term autism was used by Eugene Bleuler firstly. After a study on eleven children of United States who were suffering similar symptom used the expression "Early Infantile Autism" Dr. Leo Kannerhad published a paper in medical publication named "Nervous Child" (Rutherford and Troje, 2011). As the name suggests the Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are various types of autism disorder. According to Domeset al(2013) Autism Spectrum Disorders are divided into three main kinds of disorders and these are Asperger's syndrome;Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Autistic disorder.

In each case there is some weak area or abnormalities. According to Wang and Slikker (2011) the common abnormality can be seen in autism are

1. Socialization

2. Communication

3. Adaptive and Repetitive Behavior


Now, these abnormalities are going to be discussed. All abnormalities will be described in details to analyze the biological basis of autism spectrum disorder. There are various ways to divide the biological spectrum of autism. In the words of Aitken (2010) the Autism Spectrum Disorder is divided into two parts - Low Functioning Autistic Disorder and High Functioning Asperger’s Disorder.

1.      Socialization

From the point of view of Camarata (2013) the children with autism are disinterest of other people. This can be seen in Low Functioning Autistic Disorder. They are even unaware of people who are surrounded of them. On the other hand in case of High Functioning Asperger’s Disorder, motivated person with the presence of other people can be seen. But the problem with them is they behave in such a way that ultimately the will isolated from other people (Lawson, 2013). Therefore, we can see in both cases the problem of isolation from other people can be seen. People with autism are basically lives in isolated condition and both types of autism people at a point try to leave at a distant from other people.

2.      Communication

This problem can be divided into two different parts. These are,

1. Expressive and 2. Receptive

In the word of (McPartland and Jeste, 2015) People who are suffering with low functioning autistic disorder are generally nonverbal. They use sign or some other communicative behavior. In other word they prefer to communicate in non-verbal ways rather than verbal ways. For example they use their hand to express something instead of telling something and they do not talk so easily and they feel uncomfortable to use verbal communication.

In case of high functioning Asperger’s syndrome, they generally use high level of word which are sometimes cannot be understood and so, they are also unable to send communicative message successfully sometimes (Griesi-Oliveira et al, 2014). As they have perception problem, they do not use right word to convey their message. Not only that, they use high level of scientific language in order to communicate.

According to Ahl (2012) either no sense of interpretation or wrong interpretation can be seen in both cases. The problem of interpretation can be seen in both cases. As for difficulties in perception, their interpretation is very weak. They sometimes don't understand or interpreted wrong in such cases. For Low Functioning Autistic Disorder child no interpretation or unwillingness to interpretation can be seen. And for the High Functioning Asperger’s Disorder wrong interpretation can be seen. According to Kolb and Whishaw (2012) either no sense of interpretation or wrong interpretation can be seen in both cases. We have to keep in mind that both communicate and interpretation is related process.

3.      Adaptive and Repetitive Behavior

People with low functioning autistic disorder are generally showing some repetitive behavior. They first adapt this behavior with the condition and they perform them repetitively. The people with autism do repetitive behavior too much and they are busy with them (McPartland and Jeste, 2015). According to the words by Southet al (2010) people with high functioning asperger's syndrome are very much obsessed with some particular subject and if they have to participate in another subject, then it is very uncomfortable to them. We have to keep in mind that the obsession is very high and they use to spend as much as time with the obsession.

In the writing of Pyeritz et al (2013), it is explained that a survey on Autism Spectrum Disorder is showing the percentage distribution of child’s age of United States when the guardians of the children were informed firstly that child had Autism Spectrum Disorder. They are also notified that among these children aged 6 – 17 years with special health care needs and they are suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is also discussed using the diagram in the figure 2.

Biological Basis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Almost 80% of autism spectrum disorder is based on genetics and other 20% of autism is to be considered as environment factored. According to the scientist the genetically disorder comes from combination of different variation of genes rather than mutation of one single gene (McPartland and Jeste, 2015). The environment factors which are responsible for the 20% of total autism cases approximately are parental age and rubella infection. However it is not yet to be proved vaccine increase the risk of autism.

Another risk factor of autism is gender proportion. It is found that the ratio of boys to girl in autism is 4:1. Perhaps the risk factor is increased to X chromosome or some male chromosome which are developed in the process of male child development (Bodison and Sanger, 2012).

Fragile X syndrome is also considered to be responsible for autism spectrum disorder. It has found that almost 50% of child who have fragile X syndrome are patient of autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Heritability:

Twin studies shows that autism spectrum disorder heritability is based on genetics. Both monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (different) twins are experimented on this case. Studies of Hsiao (2012) suggested that in monozygotic case there are 80% chances that if one of child is affected to autism then other twin is affected. For the case of dizygotic twins there are 30% chances that if one of child is affected to autism then other twin is affected. The other factors are environmental. Several rare mutation and single nucleotide polymorphisms are linked for the autism spectrum disorder.

If we add these entire research models and collect all the cause of autism then we can get these reasons:

  1. Single gene neurodevelopment disorder.
  2. Common, functional variation of multi gene disorder.
  3. Several epigenetic models are found to be responsible for autism.
  4. Environmental reaction.
  5. Genomic imprinting.

Autism Spectrum Disorders is a type of disorder that is shown from the childhood. In the learning process of childhood, there is some child who does not respond to socialization, communication, response to the outer word (Garrett, 2014). They also do not have focus on normal focus on their normal activity. They have different perception about the world. Basically they keep themselves busy in interplay. The responses of the patients are non-verbal or not exact or appropriate to reception. According to Hsiao (2012) such children are needed special treatment and care and for this reason, they should be treated socialization, communication and responsive act in a different way such as playing, drawing etc.


We have discussed the symptoms, disorder and some features about treatment of autism. No doubt with the progress of medical science the treatment will get advance. But the features of treatment will remain same. The first one is parent's love and attention and the second one is the doctor's love, attention and giving response to the special needs of children. (Bodison and Sanger, 2012) We can say it is not a disease. It only needs to give special attention and care to help to develop their ability of socialization and the ability to express them. This is really true and we have to understand that. As early as, the symptoms or the problem of autism is discovered we should consult experienced and good doctor for better treatment.

This can take some time. So, it is very important to enjoy every progress of child by the parents. With time while treatment is running the progress should encouraged by the parents. One thing we have to consider at first that the perception of these child is different from the usual one (Yui et al, 2012). We have kept this in mind and behave according to that every time. Surely, the condition will be improved by with all the effort of parents and therapist.




Aitken, K. (2010). An A-Z of genetic factors in autism. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Garrett, B. (2014). Brain & behavior.

Kolb, B. and Whishaw, I. (2012).An introduction to brain and behavior.

Pyeritz, R., Rimoin, D., Korf, B. and Emery, A. (2013).Emery and Rimoin's principles and practice of medical genetics. San Diego: Elsevier Science.

Wang, C. and Slikker, W. (2011).Developmental neurotoxicology research. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.


Ahl, R. (2012). The neurobiological basis of empathy deficits in Autism Spectrum Conditions.CMJ, (48), pp.24-45.

Bodison, S. and Sanger, T. (2012).Exploring the sensory basis of developmental dyspraxia in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).Seeing and Perceiving, 25(0), pp.63-63.

Camarata, S. (2013). Pediatric Hearing Impairment, Autism, and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Implications for Clinicians. Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, 23(1), p.4.

Domes, G., Heinrichs, M., Kumbier, E., Grossmann, A., Hauenstein, K. and Herpertz, S. (2013). Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on the Neural Basis of Face Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 74(3), pp.164-171.

Griesi-Oliveira, K., Sunaga, D., Cruz, L., Vadasz, E. and Passos-Bueno, M. (2014).Stem Cells as a Good Tool to Investigate Dysregulated Biological Systems in Autism Spectrum Disorders.Autism Res, 8(1), pp.121-121.

Lawson, W. (2013). Autism spectrum conditions: the pathophysiological basis for inattention and the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). OA Autism, 1(1), pp.120-235.

McPartland, J. and Jeste, S. (2015). Connectivity in Context: Emphasizing Neurodevelopment in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 77(9), pp.772-774.

Rutherford, M. and Troje, N. (2011). IQ Predicts Biological Motion Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism DevDisord, 42(4), pp.557-565.

Schwartz, C. (2014). Aberrant tryptophan metabolism: the unifying biochemical basis for autism spectrum disorders?.Biomarkers in Medicine, 8(3), pp.313-315.

South, M., Larson, M., Krauskopf, E. and Clawson, A. (2010).Error processing in high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders.Biological Psychology, 85(2), pp.242-251.

Y. Hsiao, E. (2012). Immune Involvement in Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Basis for Animal Models.Autism, 01(S1), pp.233-295.

Yui, K., Koshiba, M. and Nakamura, S. (2012).Neurobiological Basis and Pharmacologic Treatment of Social Impairment in Autism Spectrum Disorders.CPSP, 1(3), pp.233-246.

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