Parents’ Jobs Predict Autism: Did We Really Need To Know This?
There are many pieces of research contributing to the autism puzzle, with studies implicating everything from older fathers to environmental factors. And now comes the latest piece: Children of fathers who are in non-people-oriented occupations are more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder, per research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dads who worked in engineering were two times as likely to have a child with ASD; ones in finance were four times as likely; and those in health care occupations were six times as likely.
Mother’s jobs didn’t have a connection, although if both parents were in non-social fields, their child was at higher risk for having more severe autism. Says researcher Aisha Dickerson, “Parental occupation could be indicative of autistic-like behaviors and preferences and serve as another factor in a clinician’s diagnosis of a child with suspected autism.”
The question you might be wondering: Did we really need this study? Supposedly, some clinicians already ask parents about occupation when they are doing a diagnostic evaluation. In any case, there seems to be too much focus on autism causes, especially with studies like this one where it seems like money would have been better spent on research about therapies. Last month, when I asked parents of kids with autism how they felt about all the emerging studies, the majority said they felt there wasn’t enough being done on treatments. Some noted that the cause studies made them feel guilty. In this case, though, it may very well be fathers who feel that way.
From my other blog:
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