I am curious to know how many parents on this board decided to have another child after one was dx's with autism. I know there is a higher risk but sometimes I think the stats might be off a little since many people choose not to have another child after their first is dx'd.
You know, you're right about the stats, yeah, the stats might be off because people choose not to have another child, so the sample might be smaller. Hadn't thought of that.
We have an 18 month old who hasn't been dx'd yet (waiting list for diagnosis) but we're going to have a blood test run for Fragile X etc in May. We're only doing this to rule it out because we think we'd like to have another baby. I don't think we'd *intentionally* have another special needs baby. If it weren't for wanting another I probably wouldn't bother running the gentics tests (although I think once you have a son dx'd with autism they want to run the tests anyway, probably for research, but I could be completely wrong on that).
Today I'm going to see my OB to see what she thinks of my health (had problems post-partum last time) and if she thinks I could manage another pregnancy. There are, of course, other issues to consider when deciding to get pregnant at this age (at this age!!! 38 LOL!) and DH and I are talking about all the possibilities at this point.
As for the the autism odds, what do they say they are of having a second child with autism?... something like 1 out of 10 chance (without taking in the skewed sample and it's probably higher). Well, if you take that at face value then it's a 9 out of 10 chance of having another one without autism : ) . And I figure if we had another little one on the spectrum then at least we'd be familiar with this road a little bit already! LOL.
I know three families who's youngest child is autistic. Two families have 2 children, one has three. I know this doesn't address your question but it does play into the whole scenario.
BTW, yesterday I started ABA training and attended a workshop two weeks ago on autism. I don't have an autistic child but I do work with them. My biggest concern is how prevalent it has become here in SC, especially in my county. The ratio is 1/166 and doesn't include Asperger's or PDD. If the theory of something happening in utero is a factor, 'they' are also wondering if there is something wrong with the water.
We knew our 18 month old had a little problem with receptive language, but the docs and therapists chalked it up to him being a former micro-preemie (14 weeks early). I had testing done on me to help rule out conditions that'd make me get pre-eclampsia again (we didn't want to have another 1 pound baby!), but that's it.
Our second boy just turned 3 and is better than perfect. Since he's heard us speaking "expansively" his entire life, he is communicating at the level most 4 1/2 year olds do. The boys adore each other! Cole is my heart and Jack is my joy.
Everybody's got his or her ideas, and mine is about oxygen (have you seen the recent Italian studies?). There are myriad studies showing correlations between bad perinatal and neonatal conditions with the autistic spectrum (like in Japan, survivors of the neonatal ICU were TWICE as likely to be on the spectrum). I think my son didn't get exactly the right amount of O2 either in utero or after he was in the NICU on the ventilator. Micropreemies are predisposed to PDD NOS.
If you can get a high risk OB, go ask questions! And get yourself a bundle of love!
Good luck whatever you decide...
Geezermom (can't believe I just typed that!): I have high risk issues in addition to having had one little ASD baby who is almost 19 mos and the most wonderful thing in the world. I was disappointed today at the OB's office to find that she cautioned me about getting pregnant again (present age 38, previous pregnancy was a 35 week-er [ASD baby 10 days in NICU, so interesting to read your theory], had gestational diabetes, and had post-partum hypertension and major edema issues which probably would have shown up as pre-eclampsia if I had carried to term). They took some blood to test for diabetes and thyroid before I left today. I was so down this afternoon . DH and I are still thinking over all the issues about having a second child. Can I ask what test they gave you to help rule out your chances of having pre-eclampsia?
Since our DS was born I've wanted another. When we first suspected DS was on the spectrum (only five weeks ago) I felt like I finally had justification for us to have another, and that lack of money wasn't going to be the reason we didn't. We want another little one because we want to make our family bigger and so that there are more people in the world to love DS. He is just the greatest thing, we'd be lost without him.
Garnet, hang on to your hopes, girlfriend. thiings may be fine. The testing that my perinatalogist did was for the MTHFR gene. There are two genes in your homocystein system that are responsible for blood clotting and the absorption of vitamins.
If you have one gene goofed up, you can still carry the pregnancy, but MUST take baby aspirin everyday to thin your blood. You also have to take an extra 1000 units of folic acid on top of your prenatals (which already include folic acid) to make sure you're absorbing enough of it.
If you have both of the genes messed up, you'll have to inject yourself with Heparin or some other blood thinner until week 36. I've got a girlfriend who's on her 3rd pregnancy (her boys are 5 and 6) using Heparin injections.
She also did some autoimmune testing. Have you ever heard of a problem condition for pregnant women called (APL??) antiphospholipid something or other? They test formerly preeclamptic women for that by doing a Russel Viper test...some sort of immunity test actually using viper venom! The theory is that the woman's body thinks the placenta is a foreign object and tries to snuff it out in order to protect herself. If you've got the APL problem, you do the Heparin injections and all's well.
Listen, not all high risk OBs are the same. A perinatalogist is a fetal doctor - that's the kind I had for bambino 2. Do some surfing and learn about preeclampsia...then, maybe interview your doc when the results of the bloodwork come in.
Oh, and I did still swell for my second son. I lost 30 pounds in SIX DAYS the week he was born. That is not a typo...that's how much fluid I was holding, but my BP and blood proteins were fine.
FYI, I was 39 and then 41 when I had my boys, and the second pregnancy obviously was the more healthy. You're just a little spring chicken, m'dear! Let us know how things go...
The Geeze (LeAnne)
Hi - Welcome to the amazing world of Autism! I have 4 children, 3 of which have Aspergers and 1 with Down Syndrome. I can see where the Aspergers comes from when I look at my husbands family tree. I know of other families that have more than 1 child with Autism, but other than the stats, I have no other reference to how common that is. I do know that each of my children are amazing and teach me more than I could ever have learned without them. I also know that sometimes I feel as if I live on another planet and it can get lonely. I just wanted to post for you to be able to know that even though it's difficult to have more than 1 child with special needs, it's not impossible and it a very rich life. I hope this gave you something else to think about. (like you needed that, right?) Good luck with all your choices and especially with the wonderful child you already have.
I have two beautiful children. my daughter who is n/typical aged 11yrs and my son who is Autistic. I love both of them dearly, I have to admit that once my son was dx we decieded that we would not have any more children. There are lots of reasons why. My main reason was , my son can take up a lot of time and energy and i like to make equal time for my daughter. Having another child just seemed a bit unfair on the two children I already have.
I have 3 children,
my son with asperger is the middle one, i had a daughter when he was only 10 months old (accident!!!)who is gifted as like my eldest son, both compete in equestrian sports and own competition horses,play several instruments,keyboards, flute, guitars, and drums, unfortunatly this i feel has knocked and made my son with aspergers feel even more a failure watching these two have amazing school reports and turning their hands to anything and succeeding when they dont even try, and this poor mite gives it his all and still fails it breaks our hearts,however he really wanted to bmx which we felt sick as parrots as he has low muscle tone his legs just gave way with no warning and if he fell wrong and twisted he would be in agony for days and limping, but we thought make or break(literally!!!) and went and bought a lighter frame bike for him and did research on bike wheels etc,this he has done brilliantly, its built his muscles up, and 5 years on enters competitions all over the country.Also i have a cousin who is severe down syndrome and the eldest of 3, the other two siblings are fine.
I have two boys, the oldest identified as academically gifted since age 5, the youngest mild autism. To tell you the truth, the gifted one has caused us more grief than the autistic one. Both are terrific, but with their own challenges. My brother has a severely autistic son and a "normal" younger daughter. Neighbors down the street have two severely autistic children.
Don't know if that helps. I had all the prenatal testing with my autistic son, since at age 38, I was considered an "elderly" mom
All the prenatal testing, including chorionic villi sampling were normal, but don't suspect autism shows up on prenatal testing nowadays, does it?
The only thing abnormal about my autistic's son delivery was that he was breech, they tried to turn him and it didn't work.
Get good medical advice, but do what makes you happy. Odds are in your favor that your next child won't have autism, but it's all a crapshoot....
Several factors make me reluctant to have children, other than cat "children." One factor is my age. The other is my suspicion I may have Asperger syndrome. I also have a mild seizure disorder, for me controlled successfully with medication. I wouldn't want to have a child who suffered from severe seizures. I wouldn't want to see a child hurt. I want to give a child every chance at a healthy life and would be devastated if they had an illness I caused.
The first challenge would be finding someone to love me, which I feel is alone a tall order. My combination of disorders, plus my basic personality and attention to my work, would make it all but impossible. The person I love must also love animals, especially cats, and must love my cats.
I'm not counting on it to happen, but I don't give up hope, either.