Autism is a complex brain development disorder. that includes a number of genetic and environmental factors. When your first child is affected by autism. That may increase the chances of having a second child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Because they can carry a gene which causes autism in your child. Due to the genetic factor, more than one child in a family is affected by autism.
When you have a child suffering from autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), having a second child can be a big decision. You and your partner may need to think about how old you are, your finances, your personal beliefs, and the risk of having a new child’s ASD.
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The families who have more than one children with autism than a second child and third child have a higher risk of developing symptoms of autism than other children in the family. The families that have only one child with autism have a risk of the second child born with autism.
According to recent research, the chances of being a child in the autism spectrum is 1 in 150 while in some part of countries it’s 1 in 100. The study also says that the chances of having a second child with autism are over 5%. The chances of having a typical child are over 90%.
It’s totally unpredictable about the second child that if he/she would be in the autism spectrum. It’s like a wild card, which you have to choose. You are not alone, there are many who faces the same problem. The decision is all yours if you want a second child or not.
Risk of ASD in Second Child
The risk of autism spectrum disorder is about to 1.5%. However, the risk of a second child will be 20% when a family already have an autistic child. If the child going to be born is a boy has a risk of ASD 2 – 3 times greater than a girl.
If there are two or more children with ASD in a family, the risk of ASD in the next child also increases by about 30%. Again, the risk for boys is about 2-3 times higher than the girls.
The risk of ASD also depends on the Timing, order of birth and age of parents. The timing gap between the two siblings should be more so that there is less risk of ASD. The order of birth also plays a vital role. The 2nd child will have a high risk of ASD as compared to the elder one. Aging of parents has a high risk with a genetic disability such as Down Syndrome.
Timing birth order and parental age, Impact on ASD risk:
The duration between the two births should be three years, if not then the chances of suffering from ASD is high. The effect of ASD in a second-born child will be more as compared to the first one. This is so because birth order might have an impact on the severity of ASD.
When parents get older, it affects the risk of having a child with ASD. for example, just as genetic disability such as Down syndrome increases as parents get older, it increases the risk of having a child with ASD.
Challenges occur when you want a second child:
- People feel guilty about “shortchanging” their autistic child by tending to a second child’s needs.
- You may feel worried about their ability to manage the needs of a second child, especially if that child is also autistic.
- People feel troubled about finances, energy, and personal resources will be enough to manage a larger family that includes at least one disabled child.
- People feel the possibility of having another child with symptoms of autism.
There will be a lot of questions comes in the mind while planning for the 2nd child. Especially when you have 1 child with ASD. Some questions like what will if another child will also have ASD? Talk to your better and take time to have a 2nd child. Concerned your doctor if you have issues and problems.