Finally! An Autism Study I Can Agree With

This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs  over at AutismWonderland.

Over the years, I’ve read about many autism studies. Just a few weeks ago, a study came out about weight gain during pregnancy causing autism. I try not to pay too much attention to studies, especially the ones that blame the mother and make me feel bad. I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy with Norrin. (I ate mac and cheese and fried chicken for lunch almost every day.)

There is no known cause for autism  just a whole lot of theories.

But then I read the latest autism study: there may be a genetic connection between autism in children and language problems in other family members.

Researchers looked at 79 families that included one child with autism and at least one child with a language impairment. Parents, children, grandparents — and even aunts and uncles in some cases — in the families underwent genetic analysis and a series of tests to assess their grammar, vocabulary and language-processing skills. (HealthDay News)

And as soon as I read this study, I said YES! This is it.

When Norrin was first diagnosed, family members continued to dismiss autism. I was told of uncles, cousins who had difficulty – even my brother.

I heard about my uncle who didn’t speak until he turned five years old. My grandmother called him “El Mudo” (Spanish for “The Mute”). And my mom reminded me that my brother had difficulty with speech and didn’t start talking until after he turned three. (My uncle grew up to have a career in the military and my brother is a cartoonist.) And I heard similar stories about my husband’s family.  Once again, I was told that “boys are slower than girls” and that Norrin would be fine. But I thought it was something more.

I don’t believe vaccines cause autism, I don’t believe it’s weight gain or depression during pregnancy or living near a highway. But I do believe that genetics plays a factor.

After Norrin’s diagnosis, I took a closer look at my family, I’ve silently diagnosed quite a few members. And since Norrin’s diagnosis, children on my husband’s side of the family have been diagnosed with autism.

I have no desire to cure Norrin’s autism, but if this study can help me better understand him – I’m all for it.

What are your thoughts?

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