Should parents with Autistic child have a second child?

Danielle - posted on 12/04/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




Hello ladies,
My son is on a wait list to be evaluated for Autism. My husband and I are certain that he is on the spectrum, but is high functioning. He has difficulty with his speech, socialization, and can be known to have explosive tantrums.

We have been trying for a second child for almost three years, without success, and now because our son is struggling we are not sure if we should continue trying. I have P.C.O.S, and am on fertility drugs.

I am just wondering (for those who have autisic children)
: Was it hard to adjust with a second baby with the first being autistic?
Was your second child autistic? What are pros and cons? If you could redo anything, would you still decide to have a second child?

Our son is three, so would be around 4 when the potential baby would be born.


Iridescent - posted on 12/07/2011



1080 - the chances of a second child with autism are 5%. This doesn't take into account that the chances for having a disabled child or one with a rare disease (combined) is 20% (from SSDI statistics - many do not file or qualify even with disease and disabling conditions as well - ), and while this is mostly genetically based, autism is often genetic as well and related to many other defects. I am sure that's not the great thing you'd want to hear - but having one autistic child puts you into a category where the chances of falling into that 20% category are higher. Someone has to - lots do.

Iridescent - posted on 12/07/2011




I wouldn't let it hold you back, but I would consider your desired family carefully. If you don't want the potential for another child with autism, seek a referral to a genetic counselor for your child now because many forms of autism are linked to DNA and Mitochondrial defects. Knowing would help, and possibly change your method of conceiving if this is the case.

We have 5 children. Our first is autistic (mild/moderate) with ADHD and depression. Our second was deaf and has asthma. Our third and fourth are twins - one with moderate/severe autism, a feeding tube, multiple food allergies requiring elemental formula, hypotonia, absent IgA, GERD with aspiration, PICA, asthma, and the list goes on with him, truly. His twin is underweight but healthy, although she displays a lot of signs of ADHD as well (but hey, that's the least of our concerns!). Our last has Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency, severe for a girl - neonate form. We are done. We simply will not have a healthy baby, and that's it. Our lives are consumed with medical and health care. My husband had to quit his job and become self-employed, and I had to change my jobs to work at home. Our lives are not what we had ever imagined, and while overall we are happy, I'd like our lives to be easier, normal. This is not.

While some families with multiple children are fortunate to have only one disabled child, very often the fact is that each child in a family with disabled children ends up with multiple or all of them having health problems to some degree. I'll look for some information.


View replies by

Medic - posted on 12/04/2011




My ex mother in law has 5 boys, the 3rd one is adopted and has asbergers. They actually adopted him knowing that when he was 3. She said he took more time but it really was not any different than having kids without.

[deleted account]

I don't know from personal experience, but my best friend's son has Asperger's. He wasn't even diagnosed til 6ish (turns 10 on Wednesday) and he has a sister that is 2 years younger. It's fine.

I think the thing you have to consider most is how much extra time your son needs/will need. If he is high functioning.... I can't see any problem w/ having a second child than what you would normally have just have 2 non-special needs kids.

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