Red_herringBy Kim Stagliano

I realize today is a holiday for many of us. So I apologize for making you want to spit out your jelly beans with this post. A new study (by a psychiatrist, of course) has been released linking autism to maternal drinking while pregnant.

Now I ask you: "Did you drink while pregnant?"  Did your mother or your grandmother? Which one of you has a child with autism and knows dozens or more mothers with affected children?  Heck, I didn't even sniff vanilla extract while pregnant.

Maybe we can write a play, a murder mystery about autism, and call it "Alcohol and Old Sperm."

As this study was flying around the lists last night, most people concurred these researchers have it backwards. Drinking doesn't cause autism. But autism can cause drinking.

Read about the study HERE.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.



Megan; I am sorry.
There is science out there that there is a fetal alcohol syndrome and they don't call it autism.

I have seen these poor children in special ed classes. They all seem to be some what similar facial features. That you might not notice unless you have seen a few of them together in the classroom.


Autism - let us face it guys --- they all have big heads.
Even when they grow up - and become adults -- their hat size is big.

And I have never had a drink in my entire life, unless it was in cough syrup. I was raised that way, and I agree with it that it is a drug like everything else.


How do we reallly know? Autism isn't caused by a single factor. I was A+ and my mother A- and as a result of being the second child I was born with nearly every red blood cell destroyed. I was a premie, severely jaundiced (even my blood was yellow), had multiple exchange transfusions etc. Rh incompatibility is a contributor of autism but also my mother is an alcoholic. She drank and smoked whilst pregnant. Autism shares a lot of similar symptoms with FAS so there just might be a connection. A lack of sustainable nutrition plays a big part in autism, so does a toxic environment inside and outside the womb. Alcohol does pass through the placenta, crossing the blood brain barrier and there are no safe limits of consumption while pregnant. If there is an inherited weakness from generational alcoholism the foetus is in an already compromised situation. Alcohol is a toxin period and when there is a history of drug abuse in the family it might just be enough to turn that ASD gene on. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it as a contributor. I have Asperger's and my older brother has ADHD (forceps delivery ~ he had no rh incompatibility being the first child) and we other co-morbids. I am 48 and he is 51. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, Megan.


love all this thread, my son is autism and now facing a crime because o lack off help from the so called serves ie school etc
he is facing two section 47 and one 20 all because school failed and labelled him a danger to himself and others omg he is such a understanding loveable individual where is the true help so heaven help me


I am wondering if there are any articles on this website that dicusses the the potential link between autism and emf? I'm very curious about this. Thanks in advance.


Uggh, I hate these studies, because "normal" people hear them and believe them, and then I have to explain that, no, I don't think my child got autism from TV watching, or from my then 30-year-old husband's geriatric sperm. If this alcohol study were true, autism rates should be going down. Most women no longer drink throughout pregnancy, as my mother's and older generations did. So, the number of women drinking in pregnancy is going down, yet the autism rates are going up. Hmmm. How do you spin that?

Oh, and I had champagne on New Year's Eve when I was pregnant with my ASD son, before I knew I was pregnant. Strangely enough, I don't feel as guilty about that as I do about the flu shot I had when I was pregnant. I have a gut feeling the flu shot (and my many mercury fillings) had a lot more to do with autism than a glass of champagne. Actually, I don't even feel guilty anymore. I didn't know any better when I did the "right thing" and got my flu shot while pregnant, then had my son vaccinated, even when he was sick. No, there are other people out there who knew about the dangers of vaccines, and didn't warn us parents. They should feel guilty.


I was a bartender while pregnant with my son. I did drink until I found out I was pregnant. When I took my son to the pediatric neurologist she said he was probably autistic due to it. Then I received his heavy metal toxicity test results. Did my drinking cause mercury toxicity as well? You know, if I hadn't been more informed when the ped neuro said I was to blame, I might have jumped off a freeway bridge out of guilt. This is yet ANOTHER way to place the blame on parents for autism. Mom is too cold and unfeeling....Dad is too old....Mom had a glass of wine....bad genetics.

As for the smoking bit that was mentioned....the health establishment once recommended to woman that they START smoking while pregnant to avoid gaining too much weight. There's your history of how accurate the medical community has been.

Craig Willoughby

Old Sperm and Alcohol....sounds like a bad Jimmy Buffet song, doesn't it?

Craig Willoughby

This is just another "study" to point the finger away from the real culprit in this case, and we all know who and what that is. The CDC and FDA want to make sure that they in no way can ever be held responsible for poisoning our children. So, the point the finger at alcohol and old sperm. God forbid that it could EVER be the vaccines (dripping sarcasm, there). Thanks Gerberding-a-ling-a-ding-dong.

BTW. My wife and I are both tobacco, alcohol and drug free. I haven't touched alcohol since my 21st birthday. My wife was 27, and I was 29 when my son was born. Damn that old sperm and alcohol!!!!!


Even if the guy on the unicycle distracted you while you were crossing the street, it's still the Allied moving van that turned you into road kill.

A lot of things lower defenses to oxidative stress, even things formerly believed to be healthy, like Tylenol. As everyone's saying, people drank for centuries but-- oops-- no autism. Fetal alcohol syndrome, sure, but not autism. If these issues aren't being regarded as mere contributing factors to a major cause, the studies are worse than useless, worse than red herrings, they're a bullseye of blame being placed on the backs of effected parents. They (capitulating crap scientists) always do this to try to make what are actually wider social problems appear to be quarantined only to families of origin.

I didn't even gargle while pregnant, much less drink a drop. And I never drank much before conception or since the kids were born. No mere kick from champagne is going to drown the sorrows of watching two children regress. But some justice might help. And watching studies like these eventually being relegated to the historical scientific scrap heap along with blood-letting and eugenics-- that will be "small but nice". It's either that or play with my home lobotomy kit.


"Smoking screws your immune system and therefore possiblely setup the baby for trouble with their vaccines."

Dan, tx -

Firstly, are YOU a smoker since you know so much about what smoking can do?

Secondly, this is about alcohol, NOT about smoking.

Thirdly, when was it that men and women began to smoke, and why wasn't there an explosion of autism then? Maybe autism decided it wasn't quite okay that there were so many warnings about smoking and that so many places had become smoke-free and that so many pregnant women were warned of the dangers of smoking while pregnant. It said, darn it, I must protest this protest! And the rest, apparently, is history.

Dan, tx

Smoking screws your immune system and therefore possiblely setup the baby for trouble with their vaccines.


Don't you love these studies? Was Bettleheim involved in this one?

I loved when the older dad study came out. Someone in the grocery store had struck up a conversation with me about my daughter and the causes of autism, and made reference to the study, saying that it makes all the sense in the world, and she didn't believe a vaccine reaction could cause autism.

When she asked how old the father is, my husband walked up and leaned over and kissed me. The woman had a look of absolute shock on her face. You see, my husband is 10 yrs my junior, (barely looks 18 now!) and was only 20 when our daughter was conceived!

I think faulty epidemiological studies lead to drinking!!!!!

oh, and we didn't let her watch ANY tv until after the regression!

Damn studies, I need a beer...


Lisa, I forgot about not standing in front of a microwave! I can picture myself in the lunchroom at work when I was expecting Mia - standing away from the microwave as I took out my healthy tuna salad from the fridge... Then I let my OB do a gazillion ultrasounds because hey, if it's in a doctor's office it has to be safe, right?


You have it right Kim. Before I got pregnant I had maybe 3 social drinking events -- A YEAR. When I was pregnant I did not drink, I did not eat fish and I did not stand in front of the microwave when it was on!

How much do I drink now - unfortunately autism has increased my drinking capacity. (Only when the kids are asleep.) But today I partake a lot more than I used too.

Jeff Ransom

My wife did NOT have a drop of Alcohol while pregnant, NOT a drop!

Anne Dachel

Someone today reminded me that practicing Mormons don't drink alcohol. There must be a lot of abstaining women in Utah.
Why then does Utah have an autism rate of one in 133? This is another junk scientist desperately trying to invent some reason
for so many sick children that weren't here a generation ago. Humans have consumed alcohol for thousands of years, yet we
didn't have an autism epidemic until we started injecting toxins into babies.

Anne Dachel
Media Editor


During my son's gestation, on New Year's Eve I had 2 sips of champagne at the beginning of Month 7. That was my complete alcohol consumption from conception through birth. Very little in the 10 years before and after, either.

I despise these lame epidemiological studies. Recently at a Washington state conference a toxicologist said using them is "like doing surgery with a dull knife."

Angela Warner

Yes, autism does cause drinking. In fact I was just thinking about having a drink because it is Easter, my kids had candy and are sure to have more by the end of the day and they are acting crazy! Yes, I think I might just have a relaxing drink to numb the impact the insanity of my home has on me :)

I have many times had a few drinks, talked on my cell phone, while watching TV and been on the PC as well. I might get a little scattered from multi-tasking and fuzzy in the head from the effects of said few drinks, but I certainly don't have autism. And I don't anticipate that I will develop autism with this continued behavior.

Who in the hell do they think they're kidding? I think the psychiatrist has been having more than a few while conducting this "study". In fact I think he was probably nine sheets to the wind! :)

Happy Easter Everyone!

Kelli Ann Davis


If alcohol and old sperm by themselves increase the risks for autism, can you imagine the odds when combined together? And let’s face it -- alcohol can DEFINITELY lead to the introduction of old sperm (and in a relatively short time frame to boot!)

We’re hosed.


Raja Mukherjee, consultant psychiatrist at Surrey Borders Partnership NHS trust, has spent the past 18 months examining children who have been
damaged by their mother’s drinking during pregnancy and found that a high proportion of them have autism.

Where is the research here? Let's just say (hypothetically) that 30% of the kids have brown eyes, 20% have blue eyes, and 50% have green eyes... using his calculations, that means that drinking alcohol while pregnant causes green eyes.

Kim, you are right. Drinking doesn't cause autism... but autism sure can cause drinking! And you know what else causes drinking... heavy drinking? This kind of BS right here.

P.S. I did not drink while pregnant.


Heaven forbid if you are drinking, watching TV and talking on your cell phone ..... that will DEFINITELY give you autism.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)