Autistic Children's Siblings Are MORE Likely To Develop The Disorder, New Study Says!

Mon, August 15, 2011 1:48pm EST by 1 Comment
Autistic Children's Siblings Are MORE Likely To Develop The Disorder, New Study Says!

Kids have a one-in-five chance of developing autism if they have a brother or sister with the condition and a ONE-IN-THREE risk if more than one of their older siblings suffers from it.

New research released in the online journal Pediatrics says parents whose first born child has autism face a one-in-five risk of their second child being born with the disorder. The risk is much higher than in previous studies and increases if the second child is a boy. Can you personally relate to this new information, HollyMoms?

“This is the largest study of the siblings of children with autism ever conducted,” Sally Ozonoff, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the MIND Institute at the University of California-Davis, Sacramento, who led the study, says. “There is no previous study that identified a risk of recurrence that is this high.”

The study researched 664 children, whose average age was eight months, in the U.S., Canada and Israel. When the participants turned three years old, they were tested for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 132 of them ended up meeting the criteria. In the final results, 26 percent of the boys were diagnosed compared to nine percent of the girls.

These results revealed that there’s a 18.7 percent chance that a baby with an older sibling with autism will be diagnosed with the disorder, compared to previous rates ranging from 3-10 percent.

And, the risk rises to 26 percent if the second child born is a boy — autism is mostly found among males — and to 32 percent if the baby has more than one older sibling with the disorder.

“It’s important to recognize that these are estimates that are averaged across all of the families. So, for some families, the risk will be greater than 18 percent, and for other families it would be less than 18 percent,” Dr. Ozonoff explains. “At the present time, unfortunately, we do not know how to estimate an individual family’s actual risk.”

What do you think of this study, HollyMoms?

–Leigh Blickley

Read More On Autism

  1. New Study: Two-Thirds of Autism-Afflicted Kids Aren’t Diagnosed — And It’s Their Parents’ Fault!
  2. Claire Danes’ Uplifting Message To Parents: ‘Autism Exists On A Spectrum — It’s Important We Know How To Work With It!’
  3. Did You Know Having Babies Close In Age May Raise Risk Of Autism In Second Child? We’re Shocked!