What are the Chances that Your Second Child May Also be Autistic?
Many parents who already have an autistic child wonder if their next pregnancy will bring forth another for them to love, cherish, and become utterly frustrated over, given that the prevalence of siblings with mental disabilities is high. With all the problems a typical child brings to the world with it, one diagnosed with autism almost seems to count as having 3 or more at a time.
Autism is a genetic disorder. Now, there may be theories or individuals who counter this fact, but the truth is that between twin studies and research on genetic markers, there cannot be another way of looking at it. Environmental factors obviously do come into play. After all, cities full of pollution increase the risk of having an autistic child as much as, if not more than, gaining excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy. Some of the strangest or sometimes rather likeliest things connected to autism include:
- A 2008 link to rainfall
- A 2011 linked to closely spaced pregnancies
- A 2010 link between a mother's age and autism was accentuated by a 2013 link to increased paternal age
- A 2012 link to the typical American diet including High Fructose Corn Syrup
Currently there is a strong debate about vaccines being a risk factor. I personally am unsure on where to stand on the issue as there are studies both for and against the argument and angry parents yelling at one another left, right, and center when the topic is introduced into a forum. I, like many others, will wait until there is sufficient evidence in either side's favor before deciding where I stand on the issue.
Prevalence Increase Over Time
There is another truth to consider as well. There has been a steady increase in the prevalence of autism across the board. Let's consider some numbers: