Purdue Global University Autism Spectrum Disorder Discussion


Causal Theories of ASD

The readings in this unit have provided you with an understanding of the history and causal theories of ASD, as well as diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to read each article prior to completing the Discussion.

Please respond to the following:

  • Explain and discuss at least one theory on the possible etiology (cause) of ASD.
  • Given that there is still no known cause of autism spectrum disorder, do you think research needs to continue to determine the etiology of this disorder? Why?

Reading and Resources

Key Terms

Please begin by reviewing the Glossary of Acronyms, which lists common acronyms used by professionals and parents in the field of autism spectrum disorder.

The field of autism spectrum disorder utilizes many acronyms in writing and in conversation. Using these acronyms can speed up communication when everyone knows them. However, there may come a time when you encounter an acronym with which you are not familiar. Many of these terms will be used throughout this course. Feel free to continue to reference this document throughout your course as needed. This document is also a resource you can save and reference in the future as a professional working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

If you hear a term that you are unfamiliar with in this course, in future courses, or in your profession, please know that there is nothing wrong with asking for clarification. Professionals need to be reminded to use terms and words that everyone can understand.


Please review the Purdue Global Library article below, which will provide you with a background of the nature, history, definitions, and conceptualization of autism spectrum disorder.

Simpson, R. L., & LaCava, P. G. (2008). Autism spectrum disorders. In N. J. Salkind & K. Rasmussen (Eds.). Encyclopedia of educational psychology (Vol 1., pp. 82-88). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Retrieved from https://go-galegroup-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&u=chic13451&id=GALE%7CCX2660600032&v=2.1&it=r&sid=GVRL&asid=7bc9387c#

Web Resources

The readings this week will provide you with an overview of autism spectrum disorder and help you gain a better understanding of the history and suspected causes of this disorder, as well as diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to read each article, and if you have time, explore some of the additional ASD resources on these sites.

Amaral, D. G. (2017, January 1). Examining the causes of autismCerebrum. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC55010…

Autism Speaks. (n.d.). What causes autism? Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-causes-autism

Autism Speaks. (n.d.). What is autism? Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, May 3). Basics about ASD. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, April 30). Data on autism: Five facts to know. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/new-autism-data/index…


Amaral, D. G. (2017, January 1). Examining the causes of autismCerebrum.


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