Tag Archives: Autism

Reacting to an autism diagnosis: what’s next?

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The risks of recurrence of autism in families

New research shows that a child is more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) if an older sibling has already received a diagnosis.

In an international study to be published in the September 2011 issue of Pediatrics, researchers calculated the risk of recurrence among siblings. They found that number to be substantially higher than previously estimated.

Past studies had estimated the ASD recurrence risk to be between 3 percent and 10 percent. But this most recent study found that the overall risk was 18.7 percent.

The risk was even higher in families with more than one affected sibling – as high as 32 percent.

Study findings concluded that neither parental age, gender of the sibling, functioning level of the sibling, or birth order, were significant predictors of an ASD diagnosis.

Boys were found to be at nearly three times the risk of girls for an ASD diagnosis.

Read about a pair of brothers diagnosed with ASD and how an exhibit at the New York Transit Museum helps them to connect with others.

RAK Archives: Read about a program that provides workshops for children and their siblings with special needs.

Arizona Autism resources:

Southwest Autism Resource and Research Center

Arizona Autism Coalition

Autism Society of Greater Phoenix

Valley of the Sun Autism Network (VSAN)

S.E.E.K. Arizona

Diane Pollock, Autism Consultant

SunSational Sibshops

Have a resource to add to this list? Email editorial@raisingarizonakids.com.

Side effects of vaccines: who’s worried?

A recent survey appearing in the April issue of Pediatrics shows that the majority of parents agree that vaccines are important when it comes to protecting their kids from disease. Most follow doctor recommendations about vaccines, too.

But more than half of those parents who participated in the survey say they are concerned about serious, adverse effects from vaccines.

Overall, 12% of parents said they’d refused at least one vaccine that their doctor had recommended for their children. Newer vaccines like varicella, meningococcal conjugate and HPV were more likely to be refused than older vaccines like MMR.

The authors of the study, conducted at the University of Michigan say the results show that a high number of parents – 1 in 4 – believe that some vaccines cause autism in healthy children.

This is despite scientific research to the contrary. For up-to-date information on individual vaccines, check out the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University Institute for Vaccine Safety.

Study authors suggest public health officials must develop more effective and targeted education campaigns that focus directly on this issue.

Do you hesitate when the doctor recommends a vaccine for your child? Let us know what you think.