Is autism a hereditary disease? If I have autism, will my child be also autistic? If my one child is autistic, will my next child be also autistic? Watch this video to get answers to all such queries about the heritability of autism spectrum disorder in both male and female children, based on the latest research studies.
Is Autism Hereditary or Genetic Disease?
I am Dr. Manish Bhatia, your friend and guide for homeopathic treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Today we are going to discuss the question “whether Autism Spectrum Disorder is Hereditary or Genetic?”
A very common question that I receive from the parents of my patients is that – what is the probability of the second child getting Autism?
Is the Autism Hereditary?
What is the likely second child will also be autistic?
Till now the cause of autism was not very clear. We knew that there were certain hereditary factors both genetic and epigenetic that were responsible for the development of Autism and at the same time, there were many environmental factors also.
A recent study, which was published as recently as in July 2019 – it’s a large scale study that has demonstrated that nearly 80% of children can be attributed to having some genetic predispositions, some genetic cause which predisposes them to develop Autism.
So yes, Autism Spectrum Disorder is hereditary or genetic in a large majority of cases. Only in 20% of cases, now it is believed to have some kind of environmental influence responsible for the development of autism. But for the majority of children, yes there is an element of genetics involved in the development of autism.
Now what genes are involved? It’s still in work in progress as of now we have been able to identify nearly hundred genes which are probable, which are likely involved in the development of autism spectrum disorder and there is going to be much more research to filter out more likely, more probable causes of this genetic predisposition.
So the next question that comes to us is what is the probability that the second child is going to be autistic?
Well, the answer that we get is through studies of siblings. What is the existing data that we have?
In cases of siblings, the first data that we have is studies done on identical twins.
In cases of identical twins, it had been found that the probability of the second child having autism is very strong – from 36% to 90%. If one child is Autistic there is a huge chance that the second child, the second identical child is also going to have autism or some kind of learning disability.
So the current data we have regarding siblings I will read it out for you.
When the oldest sibling diagnoses with Autism Spectrum Disorder was male, 4.2% of female siblings and 12.9% of male siblings were also diagnosed with autism.
So if the elder child is male, then 4.2% of the female child which comes next is usually autistic and nearly 13% of the male sibling who is born next is found to autistic.
But if the older female sibling is diagnosed with autism, 7.6% of the younger female sibling and 16.7% of male sibling are also diagnosed with autism.
So what we can see is whether it is a male child who is elder and who is autistic or it is a female child who is elder and autistic, in both cases, if the second child is male he is more likely to be autistic and the variation can be 8% to 16%. If the second child is female the variation can be 4% to 8% approximately.
So this is the data that we have as of now. We know that if the elder child is autistic, there is a fair chance that the second child can be autistic. The percentage can vary between 4% to 18% depending upon the gender of the second child and the gender of the first child.
So this is the data that we have so we know that there is some probability that if your first child is autistic then the second child can be autistic or can have some form of mental disability. But we do know for sure that probability is less than 20% in all cases. So there are 80% chances that your second child will not be autistic.
So this is all the information that we have today regarding “whether autism is hereditary or not?”
I hope you have found this information useful.
If you have any more question regarding Autism, its diagnosis, its treatment please visit doctorbhatia.com and you can post your queries there. I will be happy to help you in any way possible.
Thank you so much.