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What do you think caused it? ASD/ Autism

(63 Posts)
2006hildy Fri 12-Apr-13 23:03:15

Never mind all the claptrap written, papers published, media hysteria, ect. What do you personally think caused it? ASD/ Autism

I don't want to bash all the valuable work done out there already. But us MNetters have sorted out a lot already maybe we could help sort this question.

Mine is a dodgy combination of genes between me and DH. Even before we got the dx this was my honest gut instinct that DS1 got the best genes out of the two of us and ds2 got the worst. This sounds bad but I love him dearly.

Since then all kinds of things have gone through my head. I don't want to say too much as I don't want to influence your answers.

Merguez Fri 19-Apr-13 19:52:08

This is a really interesting thread. I am sure it is genetic and we have it on both sides of the family, although not diagnosed. But I have an uncle who I believe is ASD and DH has a first cousin. Interestingly they both have NT children. DS1 is borderline ASD, DS2 is NT.

Dodgy genes here too.. my own Grandfather was definitely autistic..why and how on earth he managed to be married is a mystery to us all..
I have 'traits' DD1 also got a lot (dx ADHD, dyspraxic and they offered her Aspergers too) and DS2 got a lot more plus learning dififculties.. all a matter of degrees here!

tabulahrasa Fri 19-Apr-13 14:24:17

Definitely genetic in DS's case, I have people on both my mum and my dad's side of the family that either would have been diagnosed if they were children today or have loads of traits and DP has two cousins (not siblings to each other) diagnosed with AS.

Poor DS just got done as far as genes go, lol.

lottieandmia Fri 19-Apr-13 14:04:41

saintly - I was very surprised how much I forgot what she could do at one time. I hadn't seen the video for about 10 years because my dad took it. My parents also commented on how 'normal' she looked then.

WarmAndFuzzy Fri 19-Apr-13 01:30:20

With two on the spectrum (and I suspect DH, and have traits myself) I'd say definitely genetic.

Sounds familiar lottie - like you I was shocked by how much ds1 was doing pre-regression. And the different speech sounds he could make.

lottieandmia Thu 18-Apr-13 16:47:11

My dd has classic ASD and quite severe learning difficulties.

Nobody in either my family or her dad's family has autism or learning difficulties and my feeling is that it was triggered by something. I had a look at a video of her recently in the months before she was 1 year old and was shocked to see that she could imitate at that time and waved bye bye and could also make an attempt at various words. Fast forward to 2.5 years and she had literally lost all her skills.

MeAndMySpoon Thu 18-Apr-13 16:40:27

Damn, that should be DS2, not merely 'son 2', lest anyone think I label him as such! grin

MeAndMySpoon Thu 18-Apr-13 16:38:56

I think it has to be genetic, or to have a massive genetic component, because there is such a higher chance of having a subsequent child with ASD if your first child has it. Having said that, DS1 seems pretty NT (though since realising that DS2 almost certainly has autism, I've started to question everything and wonder if DS1 maybe has Asperger's- I think this sort of questioning can be quite destructive - does anyone else do this??).

S2 is coming up for his multi-disciplinary panel in a few weeks, but we've been observing and logging for ages now and his traits are only becoming more apparent. I think he was giving me cause to wonder before MMR at 13m - he is definitely very different to his brother! Part of my (obsessive?) questioning has been to wonder if either I, or DH are on the spectrum. I think we both could have certain traits. I'm really interested in the speculation above as to why there seems to be an explosion in ASD diagnosis! grin

Rumours Tue 16-Apr-13 17:08:23

Genetics for us too, both my ds's have ASD, but both are so different. I can see traits in me too, I score 33 in the AQ online test and recently completed a maths degree. I look back now and don't know how I did it as life is so hectic. Ds2's dx came as I was finishing my studies.

Not genetic here (well not in terms of autism). No autism or broader autism phenotype in a massive extended family.

Lots of immune issues/disorders in the family & ds1 regressed. We have video of him saying words and speech sounds that he cannot say now (13 years later). And video of him playing peekaboo, lifting arms to be picked up etc. He was very ill right before regression. He also fits the pattern, common apparently, in those who regressed of being very severely affected.

His younger brothers share some of the immune issues, we have kept them well away from any potential triggers and they are NT.

rainbowsprite1 Mon 15-Apr-13 23:16:02

Genetics here, both myself and DH could be described as borderline & there is family history on DH's side of the family. Although I was interested to note a pp had Downs flagged up during pregnancy, we did too.

AmberLeaf Mon 15-Apr-13 17:33:25

but started taking the anti-sickness medication earlier with DD

I also took anti sickness medication with my 3rd pregnancy (DS3 has an ASD DX) due to severe 'morning' sickness with my second pregnancy. But, my elder two also have traits (never been assessed though) so I don't think that had any effect (nor could I find any association online)

I do think it is genetic in my sons case, I also think a major explanation for the increase is down to more awareness and more assessment. Had we been assessed I'm sure both myself and my Dad would have been diagnosed. Other older family members on my/my Dads side sound as though they may also have been autistic.

I do believe though, that some children are vaccine damaged.

BeeMom Sun 14-Apr-13 16:24:37

For my DCs, we know the cause - autism/autistic traits are very common in mitochondrial disease. I have the same disease as well, and when I look at myself critically, I can see traits in me as well...

I think that the rise in diagnosis is only partially related to an increase in incidence, but largely tied to the fact that those with lower "severity" or higher "function" are being formally recognized. When I was a child, someone diagnosed as autistic was "classically" autistic - little to no functional speech, severe repetitive behaviours, no chance at independence... however, since the clear need for and benefit from early intervention has been formally acknowledged, more children are being diagnosed - admittedly both a blessing and a curse.

marchduck Sun 14-Apr-13 14:57:25

I really don't know in our case; DD is the only one in both sides of the family to have ASD. DH and I have both done that online AQ thing and scored really low and our older DS doesn't seem to have any traits at all.
I worry that it was maybe triggered by something that I did. I was hospitalised with hyperemesis during both pregnancies, but started taking the anti-sickness medication earlier with DD. Both were induced at 10 days over, and her birth was more difficult. There may also be a predisposition to auto-immune difficulties, coming from DH's side.

MissDuke Sun 14-Apr-13 13:53:51

I think genetics plays a huge part, but I don't think that explains the large increase, so I think there are environmental factors also.

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 14-Apr-13 13:18:39


My side of the family is definitely predisposed towards ASD.

Although I've also spent the last 15 years blaming everything i did, from hyperemesis to weaning to sleeping to school.........

Strongecoffeeismydrug Sun 14-Apr-13 13:09:34

DS is the only one with asd on either side of the family.
Can't even think of any relatives who even have traits so i really can't say I think it's genetic.
I just think its one of those things that I will never be able to answer (a bit like which came first the chicken or the egg) smile

Academically I believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors, although no known genetic heritage (but both me and DH have unknown parts of our families). I think there must be some genetic predisposition lurking, added to which we had IUGR (probable placental problems), prematurity, and a very old mother.

jogalong Sun 14-Apr-13 11:08:33

No genetics here either. Mind you dh family could sometimes be described as "odd".
Had an elective section which i sometimes now wonder if contributed to sensory issues.
Have three children. Had gestational diabetes during all three pregnancies. Was on insulin on my first and third pregnancy but not on my second. I attended a different hospital for my second and they hadn't updated their guidelines and told me i didn't need insulin even though my levels were high. I had to control by diet alone. Im starting to wonder now three and a half years later if this affected ds. I prob will never know.

DeafLeopard Sun 14-Apr-13 01:12:00

Really interesting concept about people with ASD historically unlikely to have children - whereas now more likely to.

So the early geeks brought us technology, made themselves into sought after partners due to wealth / social status; then someone invents internet dating so geeks can seek out each other and cut out the crap of unnecessary socialisation grin Darwinism in action.

devilinside Sun 14-Apr-13 00:11:46

I am undergoing assessment for aspergers. Both my parents and sister are obviously aspie. DS diagnosed a year ago, DD and DP borderline. I think the reason rates are increasing is because aspies seek out one another (previously many would have remained unmarried) but now there is more opportunity to meet fellow geeks. I met DP online, I suspect that's common for people like us

Jux Sun 14-Apr-13 00:00:37

Genetic. Autism has existed since long before any of the mooted environmental factors existed.

Smooshy Sat 13-Apr-13 23:34:39

I think it's genetic. DH's son has Aspergers, as does his nephew. Another has Dyspraxia. A lot of DH's male relatives were seen as eccentric and unsociable. I am currently trying to make DS5's teachers see that there is something else there, querying Aspergers/Dyspraxia.

DS2 has Austism and I do wonder if his difficult birth (his heart stopped and i had to have an emergency section) had a bearing on why he has it more severely than anyone else in the family. I did go through a phase of blaming myself - I had a stressful pregnancy (house move falling through, then moving 2 days before he was born and my brother committing suicide) and probably drank more than a couple of drinks at times. Even down to blaming it on the name I gave him at one point!

smokinaces Sat 13-Apr-13 23:33:16

See ds1 has aspergers. Yes he was a scheduled csection, but his cord took a month to come off. I also didn't drink/smoke/take painkillers.

Ds2 was a crash section. Oxygen starved at points. I didn't know I was pregnant for three months so i drank, smoked, popped aspirin etc. I did everything upside down with him as ds1 was only 19m when he was born. And he's got no ASD traits at all that we can see.

Some gentics. Some pot luck I guess.

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