Abstract description: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is characterized by social, communication and behavioral challenges. The prevalence of ASD is currently 1 in 54 children, accounting for 0.3% of the global burden of disease. Currently, there is no known causation of ASD, although there have been many different environmental and genetic influences explored. The goal of this thesis is to explore the different etiologies of ASD. This paper will explore environmental influences such as maternal influence on the fetus with timing and dosing of exposure and how maternal metabolic conditions can contribute to ASD. This thesis will also explore maternal genetic influences on the fetus and how that contributes to ASD as it has a 64-91% chance of heritability. In conclusion, this thesis will explore the possibility ASD is not caused by environmental or genetic influences alone, but rather a combination of both. This can be shown through a simple flow chart that environmental factors cause genetic mutations in the mother which then will be inherited by the fetus and thus contribute to the cause of ASD.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2020


Patrick J. Calie

Mentor Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences