Hi Group, I'm expecing my first child next Spring and I am nervous.

May - posted on 06/22/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My half brother has severe autism, and was diagnosed at age 5. We do not have the same birth father. Is there any evidence to suggest that autism is passed down genetically through the father?



Any words of support or feedback would be nice. It has been very difficult for me to plan to have a child with my Mother constantly discouraging my husband and I saying that it is very likely that I will have a child with Autism. My husband's family has no history of Autism.

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May - posted on 06/26/2012

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Hi Cherish,

I don't know what I could say "bothered" me the most. It was very difficult for me growing up, that is for sure. I was adopted at age 5 1/2 by a very loving, incredible father. My step dad and Mother gave birth to their own son, my half brother when I was nearly 9 years old. I was lucky to have a few years with just the two of them. The details are fuzzy, because now I am nearly 34 years of age, but I can tell you one of the things that was the worst was I couldn't really have friends over like normal teens do. The most bothersome thing that he did was smear his own feces on the walls of his bedroom, and my parents were just beside themselves with not knowing how or what to do to control the situation. Other times he would bolt the house and run down the street to the nearest candy store causing me to panic that he might get hit by a car. I remember it being particularly bad for me when I was 12 or 13 and I really needed typical parental support and they were utterly focused on my brother. At that time he was just diagnosed but was still pretty easy to deal with until he became I guess around 9 - 12 at which point the whole family was under such severe stress. I am so grateful for all the support that everyone has shown my family, I just wish my Mom would not be so anxious about my own child. After all, as some here have pointed out. There are many factors that cause Autism, and the cause is simply not known. I just don't want to be anxious while I am carrying my own child.

Anaquita - posted on 06/22/2012

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It can be passed genetically through the father OR the mother. (Or both) There's some more recent theories for mutated genes that they have found in a number of cases. (Not all but a fair bit. It is potentially one of the genetic causes.) Often times the women in the families have the same mutated gene, but more often, it's the males that actually end up with autism. And in general less girls have it. It seems boys are just a bit more susceptible, and girls have a bit of higher level of immunity. Though some do still have it.

My son, (who has aspergers) would have genetically been passed down from my side of his DNA. My father's side of the family is where autism is known, for sure, to run in. I've a nephew on the spectrum. And there's a possibility of a couple of cousins on my mother's side who have kids who *might* have it as well. No known cases on my ex's side. That I know of.

That being said, even if your child has it, it's not the end of the world. It isn't easy, but it's not the end all, be all either. Early interventions are key. They've helped my son come a long way, and I know a couple of kids who are further down on the spectrum that, due to interventions are far higher functioning than they started out as. Good luck, and don't let your mother stress you out.

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Cherish - posted on 06/26/2012

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May,
Thank you SO much for being open...I read your reply and had to laugh,only b/c Brian does the same thing w/ the poo and the running away.Tho I do not trip,it is annoying yes but I am like "oh well,lets go take care of that"..lol
I am the same age as you and I know things were different "back then"(in dino ages...lol)

Did you tell your mom she is stressing you out?I am sure she does not mean to,or maybe she knows how hard it is and she is just worried.
Tell her something like "I appreciate your concern,I know you mean well,but so what if he has autism,or down syndrome or CP..etc?(and it probably won't)it is MY BABY and MY PROBLEM I am a adult and I will handle it if I need to but you are really stressing me out!"

Why couldn't you have friends over?Was your brother naked all the time?(Brian HATES clothes)

I guess you can stop talking to your mom until you have the baby,or hang up on her when she gets annoying(I do...lol)

Seriously stressing out won't help AT ALL,if it makes you feel better AT ALL I can not think of ANYONE I know that has 2 people w/severe autism in the family,the ones that have "ASD" in the family,are usually HF and as you know HF kids and kids like my son and your brother are the exception,not the rule...and HF kids are cake compared to most "severe kids",and you know this if your brother is like my son ;)

Stop worrying,it will do no good.Worry will not change anything,just make it worse for you(and probably your husband)..lol

Cherish - posted on 06/26/2012

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Hi,
My youngest has severe autism(non verbal,aggressive..etc)
I often wonder what it is like for his siblings,to be raised with a child that has SO MANY demands.
Can I ask you,what is one thing that "bothered" you the most?
Honestly I do not think anyone knows what causes severe autism.MOST people w/ASD have aspergers or are HF and somewhere on the spectrum.
As you know there is a HUGE difference between severe autism and ASD...
The chances in GENERAL of having a child w/severe autism is 1 in 1000.
But you are pregnant and you will love your baby no matter what.
You have NO control on what will be "wrong" with your child(and probably nothing will be),so don't stress,stress is bad for you :)

May - posted on 06/25/2012

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I really appreciate your support. Growing up with my brother definitely changed me, and unfortunately affected my Mother negatively in her opinion of me having my own child. My brother is very severe, non-verbal etc. I think though if he had had an earlier diagnosis, things may have been different.

Carol - posted on 06/25/2012

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My son is the spitting image of my husband both in looks and personalities. Both have Asperger's. Both are wonderful, great, smart, loyal, loving people. My husband just passed away a couple of weeks ago and I can honestly say that we had a perfect marriage in part due to his Asperger's tendencies. Also, after the bullied stage of 3-20, my husband excelled at work because of Asperger's (his job was focused on one of his many passions and he was one of the best in the business at it).

Coincidentally, my sister married a person who might have Asperger's and his dad has autism. A friend's family has an entire generation of kids on the autism spectrum (I think on the husband's side - 3 siblings' kids with none of the siblings having autism)

I think that severe autism would be harder to deal with, but I think that you'll be able to handle whatever you're dealt. A supportive mother sure would help take some unneccessary stress off of you. Good luck and congratulations!

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