Hi, friends. I have a new post up at HuffPo - a different take on the Pedatrics study on siblings. As always, I'd appreciate if you'd pop over to HuffPo and and leave a comment. Then FB share and Tweet the post. Here's the start of the post: Thanks. KS
A new study in Pediatrics says the recurrence risk of autism in younger siblings is higher than previously thought. Hardly comforting to autism families who want a second or third child and not surprising to me, mom of three daughters with autism.
In 1999, my husband and I were considering having a third child. Mia and Gianna (4 and 3 years old at the time) had just been diagnosed with autism. Mark and I wanted answers. At the advice of our pediatrician, we sought genetic counseling. The geneticist at a top children's hospital said the chance of a third child with autism was perhaps 25 percent. He told us it was, at best, a guess. New Year's Eve 1999 arrived, we partied per the Prince song, and nine months later Bella arrived with a birth history that may have lead to her autism diagnosis.
The previously estimated risk was 3 to 10 percent. The new study shows a 26 percent recurrence for males and 32 percent for infants with more than one older sibling with autism. In short, nothing practical has changed in 11 years. I'm all about the practical, so what to do in 2011?
Answers could stem from the recent California Autism Twins Study (CATS), the largest ever study of twins with autism, which questions the scientific assumption that autism is genetic, instead pointing the finger at environmental causes. If autism is environmental, not purely genetic, we should be able to prevent and treat autism if we can determine the triggers. That's good news. Read the full post at Huffington Post/Kim Stagliano.