An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)




Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifactorial neurodevelopment disorder. Several prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors are suggested as risk factors for ASD. This study aimed to correlate prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors in a limited number of ASD cases in Palestine. Methods: A case-control study involved 120 children (60 typically diagnosed with ASD and 60 healthy matched with the ASD group). The parents of the children in both groups were asked to fill out the questionnaire. Results: The study showed a higher male-to-female ratio in the ASD group. A family history of ASD was reported in 38.3% of the ASD group and 11.7% in the healthy group. Three prenatal risk factors, including maternal passive smoking, preserving follow-up prenatal visits, and experiencing psychological stress by mothers, were significantly associated with ASD. Most of the postnatal factors were significantly associated with increased ASD risk. The studied perinatal factors were not significantly associated with ASD. The parental factors, such as paternal age greater than 30 years and lower levels of education, displayed significant risk factors associated with ASD. Conclusion: This study found significant associations between several prenatal, postnatal, and parental factors and ASD in a sample of Palestinian children.