March 2013

Previous Generations May Hold Clues To Autism – Disability Scoop.

Recent research indicates that mothers who were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as children can be up to 3.5 times more likely to have an autistic child. Also, a man who was over 50 when he had a child is more likely to have grandchildren with the disorder. 

This is certainly true in Rob’s case. I was physically and emotionally abused as a child. And my maternal grandfather was over 50, I believe, when my mother was born – which may have something to do with the fact that my brother has AS (I believe, although he was never formally diagnosed). I don’t know why the grandfather’s age has anything to do with having an autistic grandchild; but I do suspect that stress hormones have a great deal to do with a mother’s having an autistic child. Anyone who was abused as a child has elevated stress hormones and an exaggerated stress response. And in my case, I was also having panic attacks during my pregnancy with Rob. I was on anti-anxiety meds when I discovered I was pregnant with Rob. Of course, I stopped the meds; but maybe it would have been better to continue with them? Or on an anti-depressant? We definitely need to know more about this connection. I think increasing levels of maternal stress (and child abuse) could be the cause of the autism epidemic we are seeing in this country. 


Possible new risk factor for autism

This article describes a study that indicates that women who were physically, emotionally, or sexually abused as children have a higher risk of having a child with autism. 

Blog entry – What is it like to parent a child with AS?

This is a blog entry I saw on Slate. Many of the descriptions sound very much like Rob. But, I believe that because we did lots of different kinds of therapy with him, such as Sensory Integration therapy, holding therapy, and PACE, as well as counseling, speech therapy, and social skills therapy, Rob is now much more functional at age 22. He is still struggling in keeping jobs and in school; but this semester he is actually studying and making an effort, and he is getting As and Bs on the exams so far. So we’ll see how the semester turns out.