Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Autism Risk in Siblings

A new study in the journal of Pediatrics has reported a much higher risk factor for siblings of kids with autism.  According to the study, children with at least one autistic sibling have a 19% (26% for male children) chance of developing autism themselves, and this risk increases to 32% if there are multiple children affected.

This means my son, who is developing typically has (according to this study) a 26% chance of developing an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  That's a scary number.

There are many families I have seen where a first-born child with autism precipitates an end to more pregnancies.  This news will make that trend even greater.  Alanna was diagnosed after my wife was pregnant with Tyler, but if she were diagnosed beforehand, we would have thought long and hard about getting pregnant again.  With the risks as high as this study mentions, we would have probably thought the risk was not worth it.


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