We have known for some time that if we have one child with autism, we need to make sure the other children don't have the developmental disorder as well. I hope most parents know, kids with autism learn differently. You don't want to try and teach them the same way as kids who are not on the spectrum because that's not what's best for them or you. There is a strong genetic link for autism and new research shows it may be a whole lot stronger than what doctors first thought.
FROM NBC: There has been evidence that autism may run in families. Tonight, a study published in the journal 'Pediatrics' concludes that the link between siblings and autism may be even stronger than generally believed. Lisa Collemi was pregnant with her daughter Victoria when her son Angelo -- then age two -- was diagnosed with autism.
When Victoria was only nine months old, her parents suspected she had autism -- and it was later confirmed by doctors. Lisa "We knew and it gave us the comfort to know what direction to take with her. Until now, researchers estimated the risk of a child having autism was between three and ten percent, if an older sibling had the disorder. But this latest study finds the risk is almost nineteen percent.
For boys, it is close to 26 per cent. And for an infant who has two older siblings with autism, the risk is 32 percent. Professor Sally Ozonoff, Univ of California, Davis "We were surprised by how much higher these estimates were than previous estimates. And speaking personally, very saddened for family members and what they are facing in their family planning decisions."
The scientists say the research, sponsored by the charity Autism Speaks, found higher numbers because it was larger and more thorough than previous studies -- and because the definition of autism has expanded. Ozonoff "The previous studies that were conducted were largely done in the 1980s and the 1990s and at that time, the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders were different. And in fact, were narrower." Sal and Lisa Collemi are not surprised by the results.
In part, because they know so many other families with autistic children. The researchers hope results will make parents more vigilant. Many studies show that the earlier autistic children get help, the better their prospects.
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