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could my antidepressants during pregnancy cause autism?

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Old 11-21-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: ohio
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amandalynn636 HB User
could my antidepressants during pregnancy cause autism?

Hi, I am new to this board & there is so much I don't know. We are not even sure if my son has autism but he is in the middle of being tested for it. He is 2&1/2. He appeared to be a normal happy toddler until he turned 2 & even then he seemed fine. Even today he seems fine. This whole ordeal is still just so surreal to me, it is like I am going through a bad nightmare. When he turned 2 I took him to his well check-up and mentioned to his doctor that he wasn't talking much. He would say a few words but other that that he was still doing his "baby talk". The doc said he should being saying 2-3 word phrases & referred us to a speech pathologist at Children's Hospital. She said he was delayed in all aspects, which was just a huge surprise because to me he seemed right on, I guess I never realized the fact that he wasn't stacking blocks. I also just really expected her to say that he was fine & he would talk in his own time. Anyway to make a very LONG story as short as possible we have enrolled him in speech, taken him to a neurodevelopmental clinic where he has had an EEG & MRI (just yesterday ) & we are waiting for the results of that. I went a met with the local school district yesterday & reps from the local preschools to see what we are going to do when he turns 3 ( he has to leave his current class when he turns 3) & happened to mention that he hates to hear anyone around him sing or hum & we have a hard time getting him to eat. I am sure there was some other stuff in there too but they all concurred that he needed to be tested for autism. He looks you in the eye & is very loving,though. I know there is such a broad spectrum of autism now though. The one thing that everyone has consistently asked me about was my pregnancy. Slade was a full term baby. There were no complications, he weighed 9lbs 10 oz. The only alcohol and tobacco use was before I found out I was pregnant. I found out at 5 weeks & quit smoking cold turkey. I did gain a huge amount of weight(115lbs). I had a back problem & had to be taken off of work, I had just quit smoking & have a huge sweet tooth which al contributed to my weight gain. My BP was fine,my sugar levels(believe it or not) stayed fine. But I have a history of depression & was on Wellbutrin. I told both my OBGYN this & my family doctor. Though both agreed that it is better that I stayed on meds than the alternative. I can't remember what class of drug it was but I know it was the one where although it had not been proven completely safe there had been no reported adverse side effects. I am wondering now if that is just referring to birth defects. Could that be to blame for his problems? Has anyone else who has taken antidepressants in this class experienced this as well? Could I have prevented this if I would have switched to a antidepressant that had proven 100% safe or went off of them completely? I am sorry for the long winded post but I am just so confused right now. Any imput would be appreciated.

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Old 12-02-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 98
DannysMum HB User
Re: could my antidepressants during pregnancy cause autism?

Your little boys sounds like mine -very loving. You are going through that awful stage of trying to blame yourself for his autism (if he is autistic, might just be delays). A lot of us probably have been through similar hateful times. In the end you let it go and move on, it takes time. You have to really realise that you can't change the past and you have to start getting to terms with the present. If he is diagnosed then prepare to feel the very real grief of almost , well, for me, bereavement. I suddenly realised that I'd had dreams and hopes for my boy that could now never be fulfilled. Heartbreaking. do get through it, i promise you. Talk to people.

I suppose what you take from the past is experience for the future. If there were to be other babies how would you play it?
My thoughts are with you.

Old 12-04-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 469
Hope2Heal HB User
Re: could my antidepressants during pregnancy cause autism?

First of all, I am so sorry that you are having to go through this and deal with the anxiety and worry of wondering what is going on. You do need to stop blaming yourself as the last poster said. Of course, as moms we always think, what could we or should be have done differently? I felt the same way when my first baby died at birth. . . if only I had done this or that. . . while perhaps I could have done something more or not, it is too late to change the past and the only thing to do is deal with the present and future.

I went on an antidepressant after my second son was born and was advised to quit breastfeeding. However, I was told if I took wellbutrin it was the safest for breastfeeding, however, I have issues with blood clots so needed to stay on a specific one.

I was not on anti-depressants during pregnancy but was on a HOST of other prescription medications during my second pregnancy for my severe heartburn,and "morning" sickness (more like all day and night) both which lasted throughout the pregnancy. Despite my fears that my son would be born with three heads, he has been perfectly healthy so far. My first baby, I did not take ANY heavy medictions, just a little prilosec and lots of Tums and he did not make it.

Look at how many moms smoke crack or drink alcohol or other stuff and their kids turn out perfectly normal. Then there are so many moms who never take anything and their kids have some kind of problem.

As for your child, I never met him so cannot say for sure. . . but my son did not talk all that much either by age 2 and still babbled a lot. He is three now and talks above average for his age. It happened between 2.5-3. Your child may be autistic or may just have sensory issues, speech delays or other mild problems that can be dealth with easily. Our friend has a kid born the same week as our son and we went to see them this summer and at almost three the child still was not speaking a word. Since he has been in a specialized preschool he has started talking. My nephew was initially diagnosed with PDD at 2, wasn't talking, now he is 10, talks fine and his diagnosis changed to ADHD.

I think when they are so little it is really hard to tell but some people believe that it cannot hurt to recieve early intervention. Your child will have fun with all the extra games and attention.

It sounds like you are doing everything right and please stop worrying about what you did to cause this. No one really knows what caused austism or other neurological problems that seem to be aflicting our kids at very high rates, especially boys. Some say vaccines, some say environmental, some say genetic, but there is no known cause as of yet. Good luck and keep us posted on his progress

Old 12-05-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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amandalynn636 HB User
Re: could my antidepressants during pregnancy cause autism?

Thank you guys so much! We actually got the results of his MRI back earlier this week & it came back with no major abnormalities so YAY!! She(the neurologist) did say that there were parts of the brain that were immature that you usually see in preemies or babies where the mother had difficult pregnancies which I had neither. She did not seemed concerned about them or the eeg that was abnormal that wwas caused by basically the same things. She said to keep dpoing what we are doing & to bring him back if he does not improve in a year or so or starts to get worse. I mentioned the fact that the school wanted to test him for autism & she seemed very shocked by this. On the initial exam at Childrens' my son was assessed by several different therapist & also a psychologist & she said they saw no signs of autism. Which was music to my ears. I know that the school is still doing this though for "educational purposes" so they know how to work with him in school. They have also said that they can't diagnose him which obvioulsy would have to come from a doctor but since a very educated & specialized neurologist is saying that he is not autistic shouldn't that be enough? I am curious to know how every other child out there gets diagnosed. Is it by neurologist, psychologist , medical doctors or who does this? They also mentioned testing my son for sensory processing disorder, which is something else I have no clue about, it all makes my head spin.

I am trying hard not to blame myself but like you said you have all of these what ifs. As of right now I am not even sure what is going on with my son. I think we can go with the neurologist and rule out the autism & I am not quite sure what the sensory processing disorder is or what the depths of that is. Right now all we know is that he definitely has delays & I am hanging on to the one strand of hope with all of my might that it is no more than that. I also pray to the heavens that if that's all it is that he is caught up before he goes into elementry school. Danny's mum... you are right I know whatever it is I will get through it, no matter how big or how small, I will push through because he is my child. Regardless of what may be I love him more than anything in the world & things could be SO much worse!

Old 12-12-2009, 08:21 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
weeble1225 HB User
Re: could my antidepressants during pregnancy cause autism?

First of all(and I can't stress this enough) a diagnoses of autism is not the horror you think it is with therapy many of the issues can be corrected. My son is autistic and went from a 3 year old who used single words rarely to a 5 year old who is in regular kindergarten and the most advanced kid in his class along with having tested recently as normal in receptive lang and only mildly delayed in expressive. He's also loving, sweet, and surprisingly a very funny guy

Most children are diagnosed by a psychiatrist who specailizes in autism by an observation of behavior. In the last couple of years they have discovered that certain areas of the brain known to be associated with the senses will show either hyper or hypo activity in an EEG. Since Autism is partially a sensory disorder signs of either extreme in an EEG can indicate Autism.

Like I said autism is partially(sometimes largely) a sensory disorder so I can see how it could just be sensory processing disorder and yet raise red flags. Sensory processing disorder(as far as I know) is difficulty processing certain sensory input. It cna be either hyper or hypo sensitive reactions to any or all of the five senses. If you add in speech and socail delays as well as extreme reactions to these sensory issues you have autism.

As to the most important question of is it your fault I will tell you my epiphany story. I was doing one of those intake questionaires. The interviewer asked me if i felt that vaccinations had caused his autism. I really have no idea whether or not this is true and never had given it much thought but an instant and emphatic no came out of my mouth. When asked why I felt that my reason again came instantly. If I chose to entertain that thought it would be like saying that I chose this for him. I allowed him to be vaccinated even held him while they did it. I knew that this wouldn't change the present circumstances and that I had enough to deal with without a guilt trip as well.

Look always forward never back and realize that a bright future is just down a longer road it hasn't disappeared. Good Luck

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