There is a strong suspicion that Asperger’s Disorder may be genetic; however, scientists have yet to find a gene. Research shows that Asperger’s Disorder tends to run in families. If your child has Asperger’s Disorder, there may be someone else in the family with Asperger’s Disorder or ASD. Twin studies suggest strong support for a genetic contribution to autism, with greater numbers of autism seen in identical twins when compared to fraternal twins. This pattern is seen both in autism and ASD. When one identical twin has ASD, there is a greater than 90 percent chance that the other twin will have significant features of autism, if not the full disorder.
Scientists are also examining the male chromosome, the Y chromosome. Approximately 80 percent of those with ASD are male, leading researchers to believe problems with the Y chromosome may be a potential cause.
Few adults with autism marry and have children, leaving little opportunity to study the genetics of parent to child. Those with Asperger’s Disorder, however, commonly marry and bear children. Future research will thus have an opportunity to examine if there is a pattern of Asperger’s Disorder between parent and child.