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How can I find out if my child’s 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 (ASD), but much is left to be discovered.

Because no single gene causes autism (more than 100 genes have clear ties to the disorder), there are no genetic tests available to diagnose autism. Many different changes and mutations in a person’s 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 (209) 422-3280 or contact us for more information.

What Genetic Testing May Tell You

Genetic testing cannot tell you anything definitive about autism at this point; it may be able to tell you about some other genetic conditions, should you be concerned. One of these tests may inform you of:

  • The chances that your future children may develop autism.
  • What kinds of services and treatment may best benefit your child.
  • Other health issues or concerns related to the genetic mutation that caused your child’s autism. Some genetic disorders have been associated with autism. These include tuberous sclerosis, benign tumors that grow on the brain and other organs, and Fragile X syndrome, a condition that causes intellectual disabilities.

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 gene’s development, and through testing, genetic specialists can trace the pattern of inheritance of a disorder between parent and child.

Is genetic testing for autism reliable?

The short version is not always. Genetic testing cannot diagnose or detect autism as over 100 genes can be linked to autism, but no single instance is repeatable among those who have it. What it can do is help identify markers or concerns, and it can help autism research. These markers, when identified between siblings or parent and child, can help future researchers know what to look for and can help concerned caregivers have an explanation of the condition, but not a direct cause. 

Genetic testing is evolving and changing rapidly, and in the future we may discover a solid connection between genetics and DNA. For now, we only know they are connected somehow. 

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 (ABA) treatment for children, adolescents, and adults. 

For more information, call (209) 422-3280.

1. How old is your child or dependent?

2. What are your goals for your child?

3. Has your child been given a formal diagnosis of autism?

4. What types of behavior is your child demonstrating?





Please select a value.

Readiness

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Readiness program. This individualized, evidence-based program teaches young children skills they need to accelerate their learning and gain independence. Using imitation and naturalistic learning techniques, your child will develop useful skills in the areas of speech and language, cognition, and self-awareness. A program for children ages 0-3. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Foundations

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Foundations program. This program gives preschool and school-age children the structure to achieve important social, emotional, and intellectual milestones, helping them test within their peers’ range. With 25+ hours of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy per week, your child will develop social skills and better self-awareness for school and home. A program for children ages 4-7. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Breakthroughs

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Breakthroughs program. Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, this program removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships. A program for children ages 8-11.

Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Interactions program. Through guided social skills groups twice a week, this program helps improve social functioning in children ages 5 to 16. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

Independence

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Independence program. Geared toward older children, this program includes more in-depth skills that will help your child function independently. Taught skills include functional communication, self-management, and financial literacy. A program for individuals ages 12-25. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Your Child My Be Suited to Multiple Programs

Independence

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Independence program. Geared toward older children, this program includes more in-depth skills that will help your child function independently. Taught skills include functional communication, self-management, and financial literacy. A program for individuals ages 12-25. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Breakthroughs and/or Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited to the Breakthroughs or Interactions programs. These programs treat similar symptoms, so Therapeutic Pathways will need to meet with you and your child before we can place them within the appropriate program.

Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, Breakthroughs removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships.

Through guided social skills groups twice a week, Interactions helps improve social functioning in children. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

*This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Your Child My Be Suited to Multiple Programs

Breakthroughs and/or Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited to the Breakthroughs or Interactions programs. These programs treat similar symptoms, so Therapeutic Pathways will need to meet with you and your child before we can place them within the appropriate program.

Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, Breakthroughs removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships.

Through guided social skills groups twice a week, Interactions helps improve social functioning in children. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

*This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.