Autism & Narcissism: Similar Behaviors With Different Underlying Causes
A report from 2014 suggested that high-functioning, or Level 1 autism, could be very similar to narcissistic personality disorder, to the point that narcissism may be a level on the autism spectrum.
Symptoms of autism that are similar to narcissistic personality disorder include:
- Self-centeredness that is inappropriate to cultural expectations or the individuals age/ or developmental level.
- Treating people as objects or preferring objects to people. This often involves a focus on limited interests and interactions with others.
- Failure to develop emotional relationships as expected for the persons development.
- Hostile dependency on safe relationships.
- Poor empathy, expression of empathy, or theory of mind required to understand other peoples inner worlds and sympathize with those differences.
- Trouble reciprocating others emotions or expressing emotional caring.
- Poor self-awareness, or poor ability to develop remorse or learn from mistakes.
The clinicians claiming this overlap noted that people with narcissistic personality disorder tended to appear normal or very functional in environments where they were accepted, supported, and did not experience stress. The claim states that this seems similar to people with Aspergers syndrome, or Level 1 autism, who can appear normal because they have developed coping mechanisms for socializing, communicating, and learning.
How Is Autism Treated
There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.
How Does Narcissism Relate To Autism
Some individuals report that symptoms of autism in adults, especially those with Level 1 autism or the formerly designated Aspergers syndrome, are similar to symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
There are overlapping symptoms for people on the autism spectrum who appear to have few struggles with communication and socialization, so these people may be labeled as narcissists. While there are some comparable symptoms, autism is a developmental disorder, so there is a different underlying cause. Other symptoms of autism are not part of the narcissism diagnosis.
Do Autism Run In Families
There is ample evidence that continues to run in families. Genes that alter during pregnancy alter the childs susceptibility to autism. There are several gene mutations that can be passed on by a parent; these include autism, addiction problems, depression, alcoholism, and even bipolar disorder .
The review reported that families with children with autism have a greater frequency of the disease prevalence. Changes in those genes enhance the childs vulnerability to autism. to their child can inherit one or more of these changes if a parent has these genes . These genetic modifications take place within an embryo during the various stages of development. Even the variations in the bulk of these genes are not by themselves harmful. By advancing the chance for disturbance, they deepen the risk for the problem.
Nature And Nature Connection
One of the largest studies to establish all the factors that contribute to autism shows that autism can equally be caused by genetic or environmental factors. The environmental factors that present risks to autism are greatly varied and involve the age of the parents during pregnancy, complications experienced during child birth, nutrition of the mother during conception as well as exposure of the mother to chemicals, especially at the early stage of the unborn childs brain development.
Research on autism presents numerous factors both internal and external, that are connected to the development of autism and this perhaps is the most puzzling fact as many more researches are conducted to establish the cause of autism.
Consequently, there are few instances in which autism condition is caused by certain medical conditions like:
One of the facts that we must deal with is the complex nature of autism as a factor of genetic variation. It is therefore agreeable that autism is strongly based on genetics but it is not yet clear if autism can be understood through rare mutation processes or multigene interactions. It has also been noted that one can tell if autism is hereditary or not depending on how the autism spectrum expresses itself. This implies that autism caused by a primary genetic is highly heritable.
Autism Causes The Reality
Nobody has really nailed down the exact cause of autism. Although there are some highly confident studies on causation, most everything you hear is simply speculation and statistics at this point. Some of these studies are well done and have convinced us of some connections. Hopefully, there will be more answers as more studies and trials are implemented going forward.
There has been much speculation about vaccines causing autism. To date, there has been no scientific evidence to back this assumption. There can be possible catalysts to expedite the symptoms, but even that is speculation.
With that in mind, heres what science speculates, so far, as possible causes. This list is in no specific order.
Is Autism Inherited From The Mother Or Father
Cell defects or the autism-causing gene may be inherited by either the mother or the parent, or both. Below is an explanation of both causes.
These are not the result of either parent but of an early gestation error in code translation. Most mutations are irrelevant and have little effect. Any of the remaining ones are hazardous and do not affect the colours or otherwise of the retina. Most of the above are lethal, the fetus does not fully gestate and miscarries, in extreme cases, leads to pregnancy or even an infant, which dies shortly after birth. The other few that lead to defects or even in extreme circumstances to beneficial modifications are the kind of mutation were about here, ADS is a non-fatal yet very distinct variation in the human brain in either event.
Inherited by either or both parents:
A dominant trait may be inherited by one parent , and each parent can or may not add it to the part of their DNA with which their child inherits. If one of these conditions are met, the infant possesses the trait. In order for an infant to have a recessive trait, all parents should contribute to that trait. Theres no proof why this mutation is only present on the Y chromosome, so it may come from either male or female parents but we dont know if its dominant or recessive, so we cant tell for sure that both is the only response.
How genetic mutations occur naturally?
Which parent is responsible for autism?
Epigenetic Changes In Sperm May Predict Autism In Children
Biomarkers in human have been discovered that may specify whether a father is likely to have a child with autism.
Scientists at Washington State University, Valencia Clinical Research Centre and Valencia University in Spain investigated sperm and discovered a set of genomic features, called DNA methylation regions, in sperm samples from men who had autistic children. With this information the scientists conducted a series of blind tests to determine whether they could predict which men had autistic children. The results of these tests showed that they were able to predict men who had fathered autistic children with 90 percent accuracy.
‘We can now potentially use this to assess whether a man is going to pass autism on to his children,’ said Professor Michael Skinner, corresponding author on the study. ‘It is also a major step toward identifying what factors might promote autism.’
The researchers examined 26 men: 13 who had sons with autism, and 13 who had children without the disorder. They discovered 805 different DNA methylation regions that they believe can potentially act as epigenetic biomarkers for a predisposition to father children with autism. In the blind tests that followed, the researchers looked at whether sperm samples had these key DNA methylation regions and correctly identified whether men had fathered autistic children in 16 of the 18 samples.
Treatment For Your Child With Autism
At Therapeutic Pathways, our therapists and behavior technicians follow the most up-to-date practices extensively researched and backed by leaders in the scientific community. After your child has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, come to Therapeutic Pathways for individualized treatment. We provide family training and support as well as comprehensive Applied Behavior Analysis treatment for children, adolescents, and adults.
For more information, call 422-3280.
What Doesn’t Cause Autism
There was a bleak period in history from the 1950s to 1970s when autism was believed to be a psychological disorder, and blamed on cold, uncaring parents, usually the mothers.
Fortunately, the myth of the refrigerator mother has been debunked by science, and autism is now recognised as a disorder of brain development with genetic links. Nothing you said or did as a parent caused your child to develop autism, so please dont listen to anyone who suggests otherwise.
Scores of scientific studies have effectively ruled out vaccines as a cause of autism. Concerns originally arose around two issues of Mercury and the MMR Vaccine
In 2014, a meta-analysis, combining the result of 10 studies and over 1.2 million children, found no link between vaccines and autism. The World Health Organization, the European Medicines Agency, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading international health groups have also concluded theres no link. Unfortunately, the belief persists among anti-vaccination campaigners, who are very vocal on the Internet. If you remain concerned about vaccines, arrange a time to talk your paediatrician or GP. Remember, Vaccines Save Lives!
Molecular Tests And Genetic Counseling In Autism Spectrum Disorder
Genetic counselling for ASD involves explaining the genetic aspects of the disease to parents; clinical evaluation of the patient and assessment of family history; discussing genetic testing options; interpreting the results; informing about medical treatments and prognosis; and reporting the recurrence risks to parents and eventually to the own patient. Next, we discuss each of these steps briefly.
First, it should be made clear to the family that ASD is a complex genetically heterogeneous disorder, which makes the genetic counseling very challenging. Based on the current knowledge, a genetic variant can only be assigned as a major etiologic cause of ASD if it is associated with a high risk for the development of the disorder, while sets of common low-risk variants that would lead to polygenic or multifactorial forms of ASD are still not recognizable. Therefore, parents should be aware that molecular testing will be able to provide an assertive molecular diagnosis in only a small proportion of cases.
For the majority of ASD cases, there are no clinical signs indicating a specific genetic alteration. However, ASD can be part of the symptoms of a couple of monogenic and metabolic disorders . Thus, a careful clinical evaluation of the patient and assessment of family history, which can give some insights on the pattern of inheritance, can improve the diagnostic yield and the choice of appropriated molecular tests to be applied in each particular case .
If My Older Child Is Diagnosed With Asd What Are The Chances Any Other Children Would Have Autism
Parents may take genetic tests to determine if their defective gene was passed on and led to their child developing autism. Research conducted at Duke University Medical Center found that this happens through a process called genetic imprinting.
Genetic imprinting goes against the typical laws of Mendelian genetics where genes are either recessive or dominant. In genetic imprinting, genes become turned off shortly after fertilization, or during the development of egg or sperm cells.
Imprinting affects a genes development, and through testing, genetic specialists can trace the pattern of inheritance of a disorder between parent and child.
How Can I Find Out If My Childs Case Is Genetic Can We Tell Which Side Of The Family The Autism Came From
Experts maintain that the cause of autism is largely genetic; they attribute about 80% of the risk to inherited genes, leaving only 20% to environmental factors. This is a monumental finding for the causation and treatment for autism spectrum disorder , but much is left to be discovered.
Because no single gene causes autism , there are no genetic tests available to diagnose autism. Many different changes and mutations in a persons genes can lead to them developing autism. However, a genetic test can explain why your child developed ASD, as well as other information that could benefit your family.
If your child has been diagnosed with ASD, our therapists and behavior specialists at Therapeutic Pathways will help them develop and strengthen their social, emotional, and intellectual skills to improve their quality of life.
We are involved in the scientific community and follow the latest research involving genetics and the role they play in autism. Our approach at Therapeutic Pathways is to use evidence-based autism treatment that will help your child live a satisfying and well-rounded life.
Please call 422-3280 or contact us for more information.
Autisms Genetic Risk Factors
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child . Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder
Can Autism Be Inherited From Parents
We know that there is no single gene that causes autism spectrum disorder when it is mutated. Researchers have identified hundreds of gene variations that affect brain development, increasing the risk of having autism. However, these researchers mainly investigated variants in DNA that directly encode the building blocks of proteins.
In todays world, there is a new study which is called non-coding DNA has found that changes in regions regulating gene activity may also be associated with an autism spectrum disorder. And surprisingly, these variations tend to inherit from fathers who do not have autism. This study makes us think in a different way about the genetics of autism. So, we can say that this is a great contribution to the field.
Research on genetic risk factors focuses on how spontaneous mutations in an individuals genome occur. Fundamentally, it is necessary to focus on genes inherited from one of the parents, protein-coding regions, and genes that cause autism.
These sporadic mutations, which means rare and scattered in occurrence, have relatively large effects. Studies have shown that these rare mutations contribute to approximately 25% to 30% of cases. In other respect, only %2 of the genome consists of protein-coding areas. The largely non-coding part of our DNA, which was previously called junk DNA, has been ignored so far in autism research.
What Are The Symptoms Of Autism
Autism usually develops before 3 years of age and affects each individual differently and to varying degrees. It ranges in severity from relatively mild social and communicative impairments to a severe disability requiring lifelong parental, school and societal support.
The hallmark symptom of autism is impaired social interaction. Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they don’t understand social cues provided by tone of voice or facial expressions and they don’t watch other people’s faces to pick up on these cues.
Many children with autism engage in repetitive movements such as rocking, spinning, twirling or jumping, or in self-abusive behavior such as hand biting or head-banging.
Of children being diagnosed now with an autism spectrum disorder, about half will have intellectual disabilities defined by nonverbal IQ testing, and 25 percent will also develop seizures. Though most children show signs of autism in the first year of life, about 30 percent will seem fine and then regress in both their language and social interactions at around 18 months of age.
About 30 percent of children with autism have physical signs of some alteration in early development such as physical features that differ from their parents , small head size or structural brain malformations.
Communicate With Your Team
Communicating with the doctor, therapist, teachers, and other healthcare providers can help make your daily tasks a lot easier.
For parents, this can mean asking for suggestions to continue practicing the skills your child is learning in therapy, which makes it easier for them to be more successful.
Rare Gene Variants Passed On From Parents May Significantly Increase Risk Of Autism
Autisms cause is not something science has completely figured out yet. Studies have discovered several different links which appear to play a role in children developing the condition. Now, researchers have identified a rare class of genetic differences that parents without autism pass on to their children. The study finds these variants make it significantly more likely for the child to develop autism.
A team working with the Simons Foundation in New York adds this hereditary link is especially prominent among multiplex families, where other members of that family have autism, even if the parents of that particular child do not.
The Question Of Heritability Of Asd
A further look at all neuropsychiatric conditions shows that autism is still the most heritable one in this group. However, unlike other hereditary conditions, ASD genetics link is based on the de novo mutation. This means the ASD is not passed from parents to children directly but has ability to occur spontaneously. This is the reason why autism spectrum is still unpredictable as it only occurs in a fraction of case. This however does not explain why autism tends to run in the family.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.
The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.
ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.
New Research Investigates Inherited Causes Of Autism
Autism spectrum disorders are among the most heritable of all neuropsychiatric conditions. Yet, most genetic links to ASD found in recent years have involved de novo mutations, which are not passed from parent to child, but instead arise spontaneously. While these mutations help explain how ASD develops in a fraction of cases, they dont help us understand why autism so often runs in families.
Two new studies by Broad Institute researchers are among the first to account for some of autisms heritability. Both studies, which were published January 23 in Neuron, investigate the role recessive genes play in ASD. These genes can be passed on through generations, but their effects are seen only if an individual inherits two identical copies of the gene one from each parent.
Both teams used whole-exome sequencing in their investigations, allowing them to focus on the exomes, or the roughly 1% of the human genome that codes proteins, of several individuals.
Dalys team scanned the exomes of roughly 1,800 autism cases and controls, looking for instances in which children inherited two broken copies of the same gene from their parents. Such double knockouts are relatively rare and are often disease-causing, since non-functioning genes are incapable of producing proteins needed by the body. The researchers found that double knockouts occurred in twice as many cases as controls, and estimated that those mutations could account for approximately 3% of autism risk.
Are A Whole New Batch Of Genes Leading To Autism
The SPARK Consortium contributed more than half of the genetic data researchers used for this project. In total, the team reviewed genetic material from over 21,000 SPARK participants, including more than 6,500 with autism spectrum disorder . Despite knowing about many genes and mutations which show a connection to autism, the results reveal these new ultra-rare inherited variants are not coming from the typical pool of autism genes.
Interestingly, the vast majority of those variants are not found in genes already known to be autism genes, indicating that there is much more to be learned about autism genetics, says Dr. Feliciano. While the current study is not large enough to confidently identify individual genes that have these rare inherited variants, we are learning more about these genes. Future research that focuses on multiplex families is increasingly important to yield novel insights.
Is There Really A Connection Between Genes And Autism
Researchers are today establishing stronger connections between autism and genes. In fact, genes are seen as a major cause trigger of autism condition. However, it is important to note that the gene responsible for autism may just be one in a group of three or five genes that need to interact for autism to develop.
Although it has not yet been confirmed, some researchers suspect that it is the damaging of a gene or group of genes that is responsible for autism behaviours. Needless to say, some other factors like chemical imbalance, exposure to virus or even chemicals are also contributing factors to the development of autism disorder.
As a result, identical twins are said to be more at risk of autism than fraternal twin the explanation here being that identical twins share the same genes.
What Role Do Genes Play
Twin and family studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, then the other will be affected between 36 to 95 percent of the time. There are a number of studies in progress to determine the specific genetic factors associated with the development of ASD. In families with one child with ASD, the risk of having a second child with the disorder also increases. Many of the genes found to be associated with autism are involved in the function of the chemical connections between brain neurons . Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to increased susceptibility. In some cases, parents and other relatives of a child with ASD show mild impairments in social communication skills or engage in repetitive behaviors. Evidence also suggests that emotional disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia occur more frequently than average in the families of people with ASD.
What Are Some Common Signs Of Asd
Even as infants, children with ASD may seem different, especially when compared to other children their own age. They may become overly focused on certain objects, rarely make eye contact, and fail to engage in typical babbling with their parents. In other cases, children may develop normally until the second or even third year of life, but then start to withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.
The severity of ASD can vary greatly and is based on the degree to which social communication, insistence of sameness of activities and surroundings, and repetitive patterns of behavior affect the daily functioning of the individual.
Social impairment and communication difficultiesMany people with ASD find social interactions difficult. The mutual give-and-take nature of typical communication and interaction is often particularly challenging. Children with ASD may fail to respond to their names, avoid eye contact with other people, and only interact with others to achieve specific goals. Often children with ASD do not understand how to play or engage with other children and may prefer to be alone. People with ASD may find it difficult to understand other peoples feelings or talk about their own feelings.