Thursday, May 13, 2010
Clinic Notes: Parents' Age and Autism
A recent study in the journal Autism Research looked at parents' age in over 5 million births in California. Previous studies have found that the risk of having a child with autism increases with the age of the father. And in the new study the effect of the father's age was strong even when the mother was young. If the father was over 40 and the mother under thirty there was a 59% greater likelihood of autism. More mothers over 40 gave birth during the study period, but the increase in mothers over 40 could not account for all of the increase in autism. In my clinic I do notice lots of older parents with autism. I don't think I have ever seen teenage parents with a child with autism and I have not seen any stats on very young parents and autism.