Research papers on autism report that it was once believed to be rare but now the incidence of autism has seemingly increased significantly over the past several decades. Research papers call for greatly heightening the necessity that all educators attain a basic degree of familiarity with the condition and the best educational approaches to employ with autistic children. In addition, a number of studies have identified a wider range of syndromes previously thought to be unrelated to be yoked together on a broad spectrum of autistic disorder.
Several lines of evidence point to synaptic dysfunction as a cause of autism.  Some rare mutations may lead to autism by disrupting some synaptic pathways, such as those involved with cell adhesion .  Gene replacement studies in mice suggest that autistic symptoms are closely related to later developmental steps that depend on activity in synapses and on activity-dependent changes.  All known teratogens (agents that cause birth defects ) related to the risk of autism appear to act during the first eight weeks from conception , and though this does not exclude the possibility that autism can be initiated or affected later, there is strong evidence that autism arises very early in development. 
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