Autism is a challenging developmental disorder that affects 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 people. The different issues that autistic children face are often difficult for both the child and parent to confront. Furthermore, more siblings of autistic children have a difficult time adjusting to the specific issues that such a situation presents.
Troubling new research has shown that siblings of autistic children may have even greater challenges than dealing with their sibling’s disorder. A new study, which was conducted on families who are part of the Interactive Autism Network, looked at nearly 3,000 different children. All of the children studied came from homes in which at least there was at least one autistic child. Of the families studied, 10.9% have multiple children diagnosed with autism-related disorders.
Previous research has shown that children who are siblings of an autistic child are greatly at risk for having autism themselves. In fact, the rate of autism amongst such children is nearly 22% higher than those of children in families without an autistic child. The new research was surprising, in that it revealed previously unobserved characteristics about the language development and linguistic abilities of the autistic child’s siblings.
Many of the children studies showed severe language delays, while others showed problems with speech syntax and sentence structure. The specific speech problems faced, included pronoun reversal and the usage of non-existent words, are often signs that point to autism in a child. Of those children who exhibited the problem, girls greatly outnumbered boys. As it has long been accepted that many more boys have autism that girls, this new information could potentially skew the figures that are currently accepted on the frequency of autism occurrence in boys and girls. Researchers estimate that when these subtle autistic tendencies are counted with the previous figures, autism occurrence in boys and girls comes closer to 3 boys for every 2 girls, rather than the current estimate of 4 to 1.
In addition to the new information about the frequency of autism occurrence in siblings, these new studies also lend credibility to research regarding the genetic inheritance of autism. Nearly 7% of all children are diagnosed with a speech impediment or language disorder early on, which is often corrected through therapy or is outgrown. The new study suggests that such children may be more prone to have autistic children of their own someday.
Doctors recommend that parents who already have an autistic child have their other children screened for possible disorders of their own. The development of each child is a unique and individual process, but if the new research is any indication, siblings of autistic children may struggle with linguistic development. While it is still uncertain whether such developmental issues are directly tied to autism or not, you can ensure that the development of your other child is progressing appropriately. Any potential problems, whether related to autism or not, can be correctly identified and addressed accordingly.
Kyle Simpson writes for Lawn Care Tips where you can find information about how to care for your lawn and browse through do-it-yourself lawn care tips.