It’s worth noting, too, that experts have yet to pin down an exact cause of autism. Indeed, while it’s likely that genetics play a part, scientists are currently uncertain as to which genes may contribute to the disorder. Fortunately, though, doctors can recognize the indicators of autism in children as young as two or three – and early diagnoses can greatly improve people’s lives down the line.
But Jessica Stewart was not one of those who had gotten help while still young; she was in her 20s, in fact, at the time that she received her diagnosis. Her mom, Tracey, had originally delivered Jessica in November 1994 after she had been suffering from pre-eclampsia. This condition causes a spike in an expectant mother’s blood pressure, which in turn can damage the liver, kidneys and other organs. Without treatment, then, pregnant women with pre-eclampsia can experience serious health problems; they may even die as a result.
“My daughter came into the world in dramatic fashion,” Tracey recalled in a February 2019 piece that she wrote for ABC. “I had been hospitalized with pre-eclampsia, and she was delivered via an unplanned cesarean at very short notice.” Yet the issues didn’t stop after Jessica was born.