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p. 524. Autism as a neurodevelopmental disorderlocked

  • Uta Frith

Abstract

‘Autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder’ asks: why is autism a neurodevelopmental disorder? Mental disorders that are ultimately due to genetic causes and present from early childhood are known as neurodevelopmental disorders. In autism, the gene fault gives a predisposition to become autistic, but what actually happens will depend on other risk factors. For example, being male means there is a higher risk of autism. The brain changes all the time, just like the mind. It changes as a result of what we learn. It also changes as a result of maturation, much of which is under the control of pre-set biological processes.

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