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Should we have more children - asd?

(23 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Sat 20-Jun-09 14:28:01

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daisysue2 Sat 20-Jun-09 14:50:02

It's a tough one. My daughters are adopted and are birth siblings. We were told by social workers that their birth mother had problems due to problems due to lack of oxygen at at birth and didn't expect our dds to have any problems. But dd1 does and has a lot of similarities to her birth mother but dd2 is very normal. We have an open adoption and did meet birth mother so recognise so much in dd1.

We feel exactly the same as you about the pressure on dd2 to look after dd1 if we aren't around.

What can I say but life is a risk and having another child will be a gamble. As you know lots of people on this forum have two, three even five children with problems. It depends if you are prepared for any outcome but many more only have one.

My best friend has daughter who is Aspergers and she has a younger daughter who doesn't. But she has decided against another child as she feels it's likely she may have a boy and that the chances are quite high that he will be ASD. Although she feels it may have been the birth as well she can't be sure. I'm pretty sure it's not as the parents display some AS traits, something you may want to look into yourself.

I think you can go for genetic counselling.

cheapskatemum Sat 20-Jun-09 14:51:00

I already had 3 DSs when we got DS2's diagnosis. 2 years later, I became pregnant again. I was pleased and gut instinct told me it would be all right. I have same views as you regarding both social interaction and future care roles.

I have repeatedly been told by Social Services, that it won't be the siblings' responsibility to cope with DS2 (who has ASD, SLD and suspected bi-polar disorder - he in non-verbal), but I would still like them to visit him and take an interest in his life. DS2 is now 15, his brothers are 17,14 and 11. I have to say that I think having 3 siblings has really helped his social interaction. For a severely autistic boy, he's pretty sociable! However, a word of caution, it is blardy hard work having 3 children close together, especially if one has a disability!

HecatesTwopenceworth Sat 20-Jun-09 15:01:10

Both of my children have autism. There's only 15 months between them and they are very close. They really understand each other, which we hope will help them as they grow up. We feel that they will never be alone, iyswim.

We did originally want 3 children, but have never had the third. One of the reasons is finances, but the main reason is that we don't think we could properly manage 3 with autism, and yet we also don't feel we could manage 2 with and one without. All our parenting knowledge and experience is autism, iyswim. If we had had a third, I think in some ways I'd have preferred them to have autism as well - and that is simply too selfish for words!

Sometimes I think about my 'missing' third child. Funny as it sounds, I miss them. I know that sounds loopy but they were supposed to be here.

pickyvic Sat 20-Jun-09 15:36:53

i have one with aspergers and one NT. I had my NT dd before i had DS dx with aspergers but i wonder sometimes what i would have done if i had known first and also now realising that autism runs in my family. still - its by the by now, but i wouldnt risk a third either, tho i only ever wanted 2.

its a really tough call for you, i wish you luck with your decision.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 20-Jun-09 16:05:48

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Widemouthfrog Sat 20-Jun-09 16:18:05

DS2 arrived before we realised DS1 had an ASD. It now appears DS2 may be on the spectrum to.

I'm glad it was like this, so I didn't agonise over having my 2nd child. He adds an extra dimension to our family, and undoubtedly helps DS1 to be more sociable and flexible.

I find myself wandering about a third child, but I know I wont have another - for the simple reason that I am so busy with the two that I have - could I cope with a 3rd ASD? A 3rd NT child could end up with a huge burden of responsibility. My two boys are just fabulous, and have taught me so much. They are enough for me!

asdx2 Sat 20-Jun-09 17:04:13

Jack was our fourth child, we had wanted 6 children but for years once Jack was born life in our house was hell. His diagnosis of moderate autism and extreme challenging behaviour did nothing other than give a label to why our lives were hell and we quickly decidided that Jack would be our last.
He slept roughly two hours in twenty four and the rest of the time wanted to smash you and everything around him into a pulp. It was madness to contemplate a baby in among all that I feared he would kill somebody one day and we all have scars from his aggression.
When Jack was eight I fell pregnant, to say I was deveastated is an understatemnet. Jack's aggression had all but stopped but he was in nappies and still slept three hours in twenty four.
We prepared Jack for this new baby and had contingency plans to keep her safe. Lucy was born and he loved her from day one. He is kind gentle and tolerant of Lucy where he isn't with anyone else. He ditched the nappies "because babies wear nappies" and just mellowed. They share an incredible bond.
It was no real surprise when she was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at just two. But we manage, our lives are taken over by their needs, the older three are tolerant resourceful and independent (probably through neglect tbh) and they are fiercely protective of them.
We have no plans for number six but if it happened I wouldn't be devastated although would pretty much expect a child with autism.

siblingrivalry Sat 20-Jun-09 17:31:55

I've also been going through the same emotions,starlight. DD1 has AS and dd2 is NT.

I always wanted 3 dc and I'm still horribly broody. Like Hecate, I feel as though there is someone missing and at times I have ached for another baby.

But I won't take the chance, because I know that I am stretched to my limit at the moment (I also home educate dd1). I know that I would really struggle to cope and that wouldn't be fair on any of the dc. So, I try to put it to the back of my mind. Doesn't stop me wanting it, though.smile

elvislives Sat 20-Jun-09 20:37:56

DD1 is apparently NT but has a few ASD traits (has had herself tested for various things), DS1 has dyspraxia and some sort of undiagnosed social disorder- poss Aspergers. DS2 has ADHD and dyspraxia. DS3 is NT.

When I was pg with our 2 yo we did worry that we were taking a risk. She turned out to be female, which reduces the risk IIRC but she is already showing similar traits to DS2. If she turned out to have ADHD I wouldn't be surprised, but I wouldn't be without her.

nikos Sat 20-Jun-09 21:54:34

We have three but it is our third who is on the spectrum. the other 2 have been an unbel cevable benefit to my son with asd. We live in a noisy, sociable house with kids always dropping in and this has brought ds out of himself in a way I couldn't have done on my own. I also think it is really useful for my 2 NT children to experience the sibling bond that they do. Their bond with my third is there but is different to a nt bond.

However, I wouldn't have any more. Partly because am too old (mid forties) but know I couldn't cope with another asd child. I had three children under 3.5 and agree that three children with a close gap is hard.

So there is my expereince and probably no help really!!! But go with your heart and what you think you can cope with.

PipinJo Sat 20-Jun-09 22:27:00

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lagaanisace Sat 20-Jun-09 23:04:27

I was aware of DS2 having delays, but it was all a bit vague when we decided to go for another. DS2 was 3 when DD arrived.

I don't know what to say about the whole genetic issue, but I can say that we're glad we have three. It's hard and we have to be very careful of DS2 around DD, but it's also a great learning curve for him, and there is definitely a lovely bond between them all. They all learn such a lot from each other.

Do you have a good support network of friends and family? I think that makes a big difference. I'm not saying you would make the decision knowing that family would help out all the time, but it's so helpful to have people around you who would be delighted to know you're having another.

Ellie4 Sun 21-Jun-09 07:06:10

We are currently in the same boat. Ds1 may be asd but haven't had a dx so not sure yet. DS2 is coming up to his first b'day. If we had no concerns about ds1 then we would have been thinking of trying for another soon.
Currently we are not as 1) not sure what the future will bring for ds1 and 2) what if ds2 also has the same difficulties.

I would LOVE to have another but I know if we do there will be less time to spend and work with ds1. Also there is the financial aspect. We are not in the uk so have to pay for therapy ourselves.

Our plans for no.3 are currently on hold for a while. We will see how things go in the future and make a decision later on maybe in a year or so.

Frasersmum123 Sun 21-Jun-09 08:16:12

I have three children and like some other posters had DD before we realised DS2 had a problem - there is a 19 month gap.

TBH its not been easy, DS has a real attachment to me and its been very hard for him. He has become very jealous and I had to stop BF DD because DS2 would hit her and try and drag her off, causing him and her to scream. He now does not even acknowledge her and wont look her in the face, which is upsetting but im hoping it will get better.

I think only you can tell how your DS will react. Please dont take what I have said and let it get you down as there are lots of positive stories on here.

5inthebed Sun 21-Jun-09 08:39:45

Three days after DS2 was dx with ASD, it was mine and DH's anniversary so we went out for the night to kind of relax and talk and get our head round stuff. I was still very numb from the DX but it done me the world of good. We decided that night that we would not have any more DC as we wanted to focus on DS2 and also make some time for DS1 (NT) as he had been sidelines during the DX and DS2 took up so much of our time as it was.

I became pregnant that very weekend (according to my dates) and it was very unexpected. I had to have fertility treatment due to PCOS to conceive DS1+2 and was told I could never conceive naturally.

I was petrified, but I knew I couldn't have an abortion so we decided just to go with the flow.

DS3 arrived in November, and it has been great. A few hiccups here and there but we are managing fine. We still have time to give all the DC some attention.

We are also worried that DS3 might have ASD, but we will deal with that if it ever is dx. As it happens, I do not think he does as he is very similar to DS1 with his developement so as yet, no fears, but there is always that little lingering doubt at the back of my mind if he does anything remotely near to what DS2 was like.

lagaanisace Sun 21-Jun-09 10:21:14

That's a lovely story, 5inthebed ! 8 months is a lovely age, isn't it?

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Sun 21-Jun-09 15:15:58

I can only offer my experience.

As you know ds1 HFA / AS; ds2 probable dyspraxia; ds3 asd at lifelong care level.

Ds4- ????

Why did we have number 4 (given the others were born before ds1's dx)?

Well we always wanted 4 anyway and we weren't going to let this bastard syndrome rob us of the family we always wanted. but e left it until we knew we could cope with the 'worst' (in terms of asd) outcome.

I feel I entered each aware that I might have a disabled child; I entered my first thinkiing the chances of a baby were low due to maternal history (Mum lost several babies). So although I had a better idea of a specific risk, it was no different to the 'it's a baby, it will either be SN or NT and we'll love it whatever' attitude we ahd from day one.

BUT I have a very fatalistic approach to these things: you have to base it on your gut.

We did by far the biggest gap from ds3 - ds4 becasue we needed to be past the grieving stage when ds4 was born. We knew it would be an emotional rollercoaster- and it is, we've been tol by the Paed that we almost certainly have gebetic ASD- and every time we noticed a sign either way we'd leap on it. Life is indeed like that. We also do a lot of stuff that might just mitigate the severity if it is the case that ds4 develops ASD 9diet, social stuff, etc).

I would say take time. Don't write it off but don't jump either until you are certain.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Sun 21-Jun-09 15:20:30

Oh Paed referred us to geneticists- we declined as htey wanted tests etc for research adn we're opposed to anything that could lead to prenatal dx for asd in a world where termination rather than support is preferred: however it may well be that your Paed can arange counselling for you? We may well ahve taken her up had we planned any more babies, from an info POV.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Jun-09 20:24:21

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sphil Mon 22-Jun-09 22:34:23

I absolutely would have gone for it if I hadn't already been 42 when DS2 was born, and only had a 16 month age gap between DS1 and 2. It's one of my regrets really - I would have liked both DSes to have another sibling. If he/she had been NT, it would have been great for both of them. At the time, though, I couldn't have coped with another child with ASD - now I could but am far too old!

amberflower Mon 22-Jun-09 22:41:40

I have no option but to have another child...am currently pregnant with number 2 and only had DS's DX confirmed a month ago!

So we will have to wait and see what happens...we are contesting the DX for DS, but of course a second opinion may well simply concur with the first. To be honest part of me really resents the fact that I am now going to be completely paranoid about the new baby, obsessively watching for signs of ASD...but having said that we will deal with whatever comes along. We've tried for 3 years for this baby so I am determined to try to enjoy him/her, come what may!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Jun-09 23:18:25

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