Will my child have autism?

I’m at an age where many of my friends are making decisions about whether to have children. None of my friends have children diagnosed with autism, but they know about my interest and expertise in the subject. So they ask me if there is a way to prevent their child from having autism. 

My answer has always been simple. “Not to my knowledge.”

Now that the University of Washington has launched the first autism prevention study, my answer may change.

The research project will study 200 infants with siblings who have autism and assess whether early intervention for this high-risk group can prevent the development of autism.

The 200 infants participating in this research will be watched closely — not only by the researchers, but by many concerned parents. Parents interested in preventing autism will be anxiously awaiting the results. Me, too.


 

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    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this topic here on your blog.


  44. Alexa Says:

    Well I don’t personally have any knowledge on child care, but I can see your point. Raising kids can be difficult and frustrating if not properly done


  45. aaron Says:

    terry im just wondering if u have autism as i do and me and my gf are thinking of having kids and are not sure if they will go through a simlar torment of my school life but i do have adhd too


  46. Patricia Wright Says:

    Kristi – I had the pleasure of seeing your piece on Nightline. Thank you for bringing visibility to the joys and challenges of parenting children with autism. Parents are the life-long advocates for their children. I have no doubt that you April and Terry are major contributors to the success of your children. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspectrive with our readers.


  47. Kristi Sakai Says:

    Thanks to the other parents who replied. I’m a mom on a mission to change the world. Our daughter, Kaede, who has autism was featured on ABC World News and Nightline recently. The amount of feedback I’ve received has been mostly positive, but the grit of those being critical of me as a parent has gotten under my skin and I’m advocating harder than ever for children and families affected by autism. You may contact me if you like through my website http://www.kristisakai.net (email contact is on my schedule page) or join me on http://www.myspace.com/kristisakai Together we can make a better world for our children with autism–and for all children.


  48. Terry Blackwell Says:

    Kristi…

    Wow! a beautiful, informed and intellegent response to Dr. Patricia Wright’s post. Thank your for same.

    Like you I am a parent of not one, but two children with spectrum disorder known as Asperger’s. Can share all the heartache of the broken dreams and torments of the box known as school, or can focus as you so appropriately note on the “joy” for living these kids (now young men) remind me of day after day. That I suspect is the key.

    A new chapter in our lives came the other day, in the form of a grand daughter, named Adrianna. Since I am both a parent, and professional (BCBA and School Principal) my first meeting of the little gal was to “look” to see what I could see. However, in line with the above comments, what I saw and what I see is a baby, beautiful in her simple acceptance that mom and dad, grandmas and grandpa will take care of me. Infants remind me that hope exists.

    One day at a time, we as parents and educators meet the beast known as Autism out there and deal with it. Though the predictive study may have value, I know in my own case, that if we knew beforehand our sons would have ASD, we would still welcome them to our world, and our grand daughter (now a month old) would simply be a major bonus!

    Live – and Be Well


  49. April Says:

    Thank you Kristi for posting this. I find it amazing what people who are scared are willing to believe. My son (3) was diagnosed when he was 2 and his older sister (5) is typically developed. I agree with you that there isn’t one cause and there isn’t going to be an answer on why our children have autism for quite some time. All we can do is love them for who they are and do everything in our power to help them reach their highest potential.
    Have a Blessed day!


  50. Kristi Sakai Says:

    There is NO KNOWN cause of autism. People will say they know: it’s vaccines, it’s the environment, it’s genetic, it’s…bad parenting. Although there is the aforementioned genetic study underfoot and it may provide some valuable information, it isn’t going to solve the autism puzzle completely. Lancet published a study of Canada suggesting that environmental toxins, such as pesticides may cause neurological damage. There may very well indeed be cases of autism caused by mercury as there have been many children with autism who have tested to have high levels of mercury(both vaccinated and unvaccinated) Autism is an incredibly complex disorder that affects many different areas of the brain, and no two children are alike. Therefore, it is likely there are multiple causes, among them a genetic predisposition. Bottom line, no one knows yet. So if anyone SAYS they know the answer, they are not telling the truth.

    I have three children with autism, and I’ve been asked, “Did you know your children might have autism before you had them?” The answer is the same for me as it is for everyone else I know, “No.” (And the oldest was diagnosed after the last was already born). There was no known family history of neurological disabilities of ANY kind on either side of our families. In my crowd of friends who have children with autism, we have been unable to find common denominators that would give us some clue about why we have these children. We grew up and later lived in different parts of the country. Some had hospital births, others had home births, some breastfed, others bottle fed, some vaccinated, others did not, some are vegetarians or only eat organic food, some eat the standard American diet, some are blue collar, some are white collar, some are stay at home moms, some put their kids in daycare. We are all healthy, bright, active women, exceptionally “good” moms and happily married. But we all have children with autism.

    Autism is a mystery and it will be for some time. In the meanwhile, don’t let fear rule your decisions, we don’t have as much control over life as we would like to think we do. And if you do have a child with autism, take note of the beauty of who he or she is and be thankful for what they bring into your life instead of blaming yourself for their autism.


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