Autism runs deeper in families than previously thought
A new study has found that if you have an autistic child, there is a 19 percent chance your next child with also be diagnosed with autism.
This is higher than the 3 to 10 percent originally thought. (See a full Los Angeles Times story here.)
In the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, boys have a 26 percent chance of having autism if they have an older sibling with the neurobiological condition. Girls have a 9 percent chance.
The gender of the older sibling didn’t matter. But having more than one older sibling with autism further increased the chance to 32 percent.
With cases being reported more often, other researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are also studying causes. For now, scientists don’t know what causes the disorder that affects social interactions and communications.
That study is looking at siblings to explore genetic and environmental factors that may contribute. It’s called the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation, and it began last fall.
For now, the study released today may help parents who are deciding on having more children.