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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Community
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Avatar universal

Autism - hereditary or not?

I want to have a baby.  
My fiance has a 7 yr old serverly autistic girl and a normal 10 year old girl.   However, apparentaly the mother was doing alchohal, morphine and pot when she was pregnant.  This hasn't ran in either of the parents families beforehand, this is the first one.
Does anyone know the chances of us having an autistic baby?  I'm 37, fairly healthy-have asthma.  The past health problems in my dad's side are heart problems and strokes.  On the other side, alcohal related health problems.

I have tried to google information on the net, and no one knows if autism is heriditary or part of the environmental effects, such as mercury posioning?
5 Responses
365714 tn?1292202708
You'll find a lot of information that supports both ideas as well as conflicts with both ideas. It's sort of a gamble, but if you are concerned about environmental factors you can try making sure your future child has vaccines free of thermisol and also get vaccinated at a later schedule.  Also see if you can have your future child vaccinated one thing at a time and avoid excessive combos.

Even still you may not eliminate the chances of autism.  Some people never got the shots and are still autistic.  

So if you really want a child, go ahead and take the chance.  If your child ends up autistic it isn't the end of the world. There are a lot more resources available now than there were then.
470168 tn?1237474845
Everyone worries about getting pregnant, and everyone wants a perfectly healthy baby.  But there are no guarantees of anything.  You are afraid of autism.  Your child could be born perfectly healthy and then develop leukemia.  Or could grow up typical, get addicted to drugs and overdose.  All anyone can do is throw their genes into the ring and deal with the outcome.  Whatever that outcome you deal with it because that is what becoming a parent is all about.
Before I started my own family I was concerned because I have an older sister with learning disabilities and I really didn't want a repetition of my own upbringing.  Not that it was traumatic or anything, I just didn't want to have to deal with the same issues with my own child.  I was told at that time that there was no greater likelihood of me having a child with learning disabilities.
So I started my family and had a typically healthy daughter and then two years later had my son who later went on to be diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder.  I am fortunate in that he is not severe.  And as a family we just fit.  I can't imagine a different scenerio.  
Since my son's diagnosis I have now been told by doctors that the more conditions there are within the family, the higher the chances of something not being quite right.  The types of things to consider are family histories of developmental delay, depression and mental illness, learning disorder or disabilities including dyslexia, OCD, ADHD, self harm, eating disorders etc.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, none of us can meet our future children and experience them before we decided whether to have them or not.  
Avatar universal
Thanks!  Your obviously right, I cannot meet my future child and decide to have them or not.   That is the best advice EVER!
There is people in my family that suffer from depression and eating disorders.  I believe these are mostly caused by environmental factors, but am not sure.  
Can you please elaborate these things to consider?  
My step-daughters mother suffers from severe depression at present.
470168 tn?1237474845
The point I was trying to make was that firstly I was advised that I didn't have any greater chance than anyone else of having a child with difficulties.  Then, post diagnosis, a doctor told me that the more 'disorders' there are within the immediate family the higher the chances of 'something'.  But again, you can't see into the future.  Although you have some conditions within your family, so do I, but I'm okay!  There are also children born with difficulties and disorders and there is no family history at all.  But 'if' there is a genetic link, then the amount of other disorders within the family does point to a possible genetic weakness that is causing these other conditions and as some of these conditions are neurological then that could mean a genetic weakness towards neurological based conditions or disorders, one of which being autism.
127529 tn?1331844380
It may be worth asking for a gentics consulatation for your partner.
We are currently going through that at the moment with our family. My son was tested for genetic abnormalities after his diagnosis but everything came back clear. We already had another child before our eldest was diagnosed and our youngest son shows no signs of autism at the present time. My sister and my husbands brother are also married to each other and planning to have children. In the unique case in our family not only do any future children my husband and I have statistically be at a slightly greater risk of autism so do the children of our brother and sister; we are going ahead with genetic testing to rule out the possiblity of specific genetic problems within the family; fragile X is just one example of things they will be checking for. Now there isn't always an explaination for autism; sometimes it just is but genetics testing can go some way to reasuring that it is not a specific genetic problem causing it.
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