Does Autism ‘Run In The Family’?

a family hanging out building a sand castle on the beach

There is no one answer to this question as autism can be caused by a variety of factors, both genetic and environmental. However, there is some evidence that suggests that autism may be passed down through families.

family of four walking at the street
Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com

One study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, looked at the genes of over 1,000 families with autistic children. The study found that mutations in certain genes were more common in families with autistic children than in families without autistic children.

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Another study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, looked at the DNA of over 5,000 people with autism and their relatives. This study found that certain genetic mutations were more common in people with autism than in their relatives without autism.

While these studies provide some evidence that autism may be passed down through families, more research is needed to determine if there is a specific genetic link to autism.

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There are many families who have more than one child with autism, and it is important to remember that just because autism may run in a family does not mean that each child will inherit the condition. Each child is affected by autism in their own unique way.

If you are concerned that your child may be autistic, it is important to seek out help from a qualified professional. There is no one test or evaluation that can diagnose autism, but a variety of tests and assessments can be used to help identify the condition. Early diagnosis and treatment is key for helping children with autism reach their full potential.

An early diagnosis can help parents understand their child’s condition, know what to expect during the course of the condition, and provide information for planning services for their autistic child. A diagnosis can also help siblings cope with having an autistic brother or sister.

With support from family members, friends, teachers, and other professionals autism doesn’t have to stop a person from achieving their full potential in life. Many people with autism are very high functioning. Some are even classed as geniuses! So it is important not to underestimate someone just because they have autism!

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Before you allow anyone to classify your child as having Autism think about these questions: Does my child really fit into the diagnostic criteria? Can I explain why he/she does or does not fit? Is my child’s behavior better explained by something else?

If you’re still unsure, please consult with a professional who can help you and your family get the answers you need. There is no one answer for everyone! ASD is on a spectrum and each person displays different symptoms. So don’t feel bad if you’re not sure if your child has autism or not. Just because they meet some of the criteria, it doesn’t mean they have to have a diagnosis. Autism is more common than people think, but that doesn’t mean all cases are diagnosed. So don’t worry if you’re feeling lost about what to do next! Seek out help from professionals who will guide you through the process.

For more information on autism and how to get help, please visit:

Autism Speaks: https://www.autismspeaks.org/

The National Autistic Society: https://www.autism.org.uk/

The Autism Research Centre: https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/about-arc/our-work/autism-and-families/genetics-of-autism/genetic-links-to-autism/

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