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Do you do anything to try to prevent autism in your children?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Once I found out DH was Aspie, I wondered if it was something that could be passed down to our children. I didn't know about the genetic factor at the time. With my daughter, I didn't actively try to prevent any type of autism.

 

With our second baby, however, I was more aware. Everything freaks me out now. I look at him every day and wonder "will he have Asperger, too? Will he be autistic? Profoundly so?" I read and read on ideas about what causes it and how it might be prevented. It drives me crazy that no one really knows exactly what causes it and I find new research all the time. First it was vaccines and then they proved it wasn't and I believe that. Now they are saying it might be vaccines again, but not exactly just that - a combination of autism genes and an overload of heavy metals in the system which can be brought about by vaccinating. Now I ask our doctor about vaccine ingredients. Neither child has been vaccinated yet. I wait until they are 4 and then I only have a vaccine done if there is an outbreak. Our pediatrician knows this and keeps me updated. We are having a pertussis outbreak right now, so DD is going to have her first-ever shot in a few days.

 

Everything worries me now. Do you do things to try to prevent it? Even things you aren't sure about, just to be safe rather than sorry? I have read that it is more prevalent in boys (DD and my stepdaughter are not on the spectrum) and I keep meeting more  and more moms with Aspie partners who have children with autism, many of them profoundly autistic.

post #2 of 6

This is a good question.  It has been on my mind.  There are so many families I have heard about in the AS community where a parent is aspie and one or more children are.  

 

We haven't vaccinated.  DH is very anti-vax and has done a lot of research into it.  I had strong reactions to vaccinations as a child, so I'm happy to go along with it, dispit the incredible pressure we get from family.

 

I also read an interesting article from Midwifery Today after a possible link to ultrasound and autism.  There haven't been any direct studies, but it suggests that research needs to look into the possible connection between the explosion of autism and the incredible increased use of ultrasound.  They do know that a lot of US exposure can cause neurological changes in mice.  We didn't do US with our first, but had considered having just one for this birth since I'm 40.  But after reading this article and also learning just how long the US would have to be to get much information, we decided against it.

 

But it something that I think a lot about too.  We don't know if the coming baby is a boy or girl.  I know that boys are more likely to have it.  So, I  know that if we have a boy I will be even more concerned.

 

On the one hand, I think that we would be more prepared to handle a child with Aspergers because we have a better understanding than other families might.  I have a deep sympathy for children who have AS, just thinking of how misunderstood they can be.  On the other hand, we already struggle enough with an aspie parent.  I don't know how we would manage the added stress of an autistic or AS child.

 

I'm glad you asked the question, though, Amberskyfire, because I have actually been thinking about it a lot.  And I've been thinking about you, knowing that you just had a boy.  I was wondering if it was a question you had, because I know I will be asking the same thing, especially if we have a boy.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

US was also a concern of mine. I have never had a US on either baby, but did have one on my heart at about 6 months pregnant with this little one. The tech assured me that the baby would not be exposed at all and I believe that. I refuse US for a variety of reasons unless a problem is suspected with the baby. I read a study unrelated to pregnancy on nonsurgical male sterilization that said that just 30 min. of US (the same frequency used on babies in utero) will sterilize male rats. That sealed it for me.

 

http://www.newmalecontraception.org/usound.htm
 

post #4 of 6

I didn't know that about the effect of sterilization.  When we were considering doing an US this pregnancy, DH was encouraging it until he found out how long the exposure would have to be.  We had thought it was maybe just 5 or 10 minutes max, but it seems like the ones to check anatomy and all that are more like an hour or longer.  I have a friend who had a 2 hour one!  That is just too much for something that isn't really being regulated and researched enough.  I really do wonder if they will find a link between US and autism one day.  Then they will look back on this time of the crazy US overuse and cringe, just like we look back on the use of x-rays on pregnant women that used to happen all the time.  I could be wrong, but can't help wondering.....

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I agree! I don't really think US causes autism, but I don't know it for a fact. Even if it doesn't contribute to autism, we don't know WHAT it does. I don't want it used on my baby routinely. I think it's a fantastic diagnostic tool, just like x-rays, but should't be used at every prenatal visit on every single baby. That's just asking for trouble.

post #6 of 6

DF has AS, but we never did anything to prevent it with our children. With the *strong* presence of autism and autism spectrum disorders in both our families, I'm not sure doing much environmentally/nutritionally/etc. would make that much of a difference, really, anyway.

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