Multiple Children with Autism Not as Rare as we Thought

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Most people believed that having multiple children with autism wasn’t common.

But today, Wendy Stone of University of Washington Autism Center in Seattle, proved them wrong with her new study that suggests that almost 20% of children with autism will have a younger sibling with autism.

The Method

The group that conducted the survey took 664 infant siblings of children with autism when they were approximately 6 months old, before signs of autism traditionally develop.  On their third birthdays, the 664 siblings were tested for an Autism Spectrum Disorder and of the children, 132 had already developed a form of autism.

Why this is Important

While the signs of autism don’t develop until later and generally children with autism aren’t diagnosed until they are older, early detection and therapy at a younger age can help reduce the severity of the disorder. If a child has autism and the parents decide to have another child, knowing that the odds are higher that the second may also have autism, the doctors will look more closely for signs earlier in the child’s development. Catching those signs early on and treating the child earlier can be of great value to the child and family.

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