Chapter 7 addresses what we currently know regarding genetic and environmental risk factors. One of the main “take-home-points” of this chapter is that the research and knowledge related to the etiology (i.e., root causes) of autism is incomplete and in need of further investigation. This discussion assignment requires you to consider both genetic and environmental risk factors and apply your understanding in terms of advice you might give a friend considering starting a family as well as applying your understanding toward taking a side in a fairly well known controversy related to environmental risk factors.
Part 1: Genetic Risk Factors
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A couple whom you know are planning to have a child. Members of both families have some marked autistic features and behaviors and your friends are anxious about their own chances of having a child with ASD. What advice would you give them? Be sure to incorporate relevant material and/or references from Chapter 7 in your response.
Part 2: Take a Stand on the Vaccination Controversy
- Search the internet for discussions that debate the link between vaccines and ASD.
- Write a brief summary of your findings that provides evidence to support the belief that vaccines cause ASD.
- Write an opposing argument that refutes those claims.
- Finally, choose a side and provide a rationale for why you believe this side to be the correct position. Include either links or citations to the outside sources used for this part of the discussion.