Autism Linked to.....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Tiapet, May 5, 2008.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

  2. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    I can only speak to the depression part...I had NO symptoms of depression until the last few years.

    I think dealing with everything day in and day out has either brought it on...or brought out what was already there but not triggered.

    I tend to think there is a lot more to it then just this...
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I didn't see that one coming and expect it will generate a lot of discussion. Anecdotally what we often see reported by families online here in the US is a connection to anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'll buy that there's a genetic link between schizophrenia and autism in its extreme forms -- they both involve a loss of the world around them in one way or another. I'll even accept that some on the spectrum are genetically linked to mothers who have anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression, etc. However, I don't think genetics is the only factor. There are too many children who are autistic whose parents have no psychiatric disorders today.
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My guess is that there is more than one thing that causes autism. I do believe gluten intolerance/celiac disease can cause or contribute to it and celiac disease is linked to schizophrenia and depression so different members of the family could show it in different ways.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My daughter's psychiatrist told me a couple of years ago that mothers with a mood disorder have a statistically higher chance of having a child on the spectrum.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My mother is schizophrenic and had 5 kids. Non of us are on the spectrum.

    Travis' diagnosis is contributed both gentic (from husband's side) and brain injury/damage. Alot of people diagnosed with cerebral palsy are also diagnosed on the spectrum somewhere.

    I believe autism stems from many things genetic, and non genetic. Research has just gotten a good start on it. I'll be interested to see what they say about 20 yrs down the road.

  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This study seems to me to be very simplistic. It also (as reported) has too many undefined variables.

    How do they define "autism"? How do they define "schizophrenia"? it is all very subjective. Also, just finding a correlation doesn't mean it's causative. If you think about it - if you are a family which has one parent diagnosed with a mental illness, then you are probably a family which is a little more enlightened than many. A lot of psychiatric illness goes undiagnosed, especially if it's mild enough, as people try to "muddle through". But if you have a diagnosis, then it means you're at least aware of mental illness and the need to have it assessed and treated. The if you have a child who has problems of an unusual sort, you are more likely than many to get that child assessed.

    A study like this would only have validity if they too a very large population sample, and put parents and children through stringent diagnostic tests for schizophrenia and autism. To simply look at the books and see how many families with a diagnosis of autism in the children also have a diagnosis of schizophrenia in a parent - it's not good enough. It may also be why they say there's a link to mothers with schizophrenia, but not to fathers - because the number of families with fathers still on the scene is going to be lower than the number of families where the mother is the primary caregiver. Sorry fellas, but statistically you wonderful males on this site are a minority, for many reasons.

    My ex-brother in law, an Englishman (to put it politely) emigrated to Australia with his wife (my sister). They married in Canada in the 60s and due to archaic immigration laws at the time, this made my Australian-born sister an English citizen, and no longer an Australian citizen. She actually had to emigrate back to her own country. Fortunately for her, our government of the time wanted "quality" immigrants, and heavily subsidised their travel, so they both came to Australia as "ten pound Poms" (it only cost them ten pounds for each fare).

    On the plane, my brother in law was horrified to encounter a very drunk Aussie bloke, loudly announcing, "I'm an Aussie, and I drink beer!" My brother in law hated beer (he'd never had good old Aussie beer) and was left thinking that he would be expected to drink beer when he moved to Australia.

    "I'm an Aussie and I drink beer" is a correlation that is not causative - you don't drink beer because you're Australian, and you're not Australian because you drink beer. However, beer is a very popular drink in Australia.

    The statement "I'm an Aussie and I drink beer" also implies it's 100% correlation. ie ALL Aussies ALWAYS drink beer and nothing else. This actually is not true. I don't drink beer, for example, even though I was born here (some unkind people might suggest that living in Australia would drive anyone to drink). My brother in law did, eventually, acquire a taste for Aussie beer but it was never his drink of choice. And since those barbaric days, many more Australians have developed a taste for wine. Especially GOOD wine, not the "kanga rouge" and "Bondi bleach" of the 60s.

    So - always be suspicious of studies that use such neat correlations and try to imply a causative relationship.

    My view - I think autism is complex with multiple causes. There is undoubtedly genetic factors in there somewhere but there have to be environmental factors as well. I have three kids all affected in some way by autism. However, difficult child 3's Year 1 teacher has identical twins, one of whom has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the other does not.

    Temple Grandin has said that she believes that people with autism have in large measure that which in small measure produces genius. Autism is "an overdose of genius", in other words. She claimed that families of people with autism generally have much higher IQs than average. But again - this could so easily be biased, because she was gathering her information at a time when a lot of children diagnosed with autism were being put in institutions - it would take a family with a lot of confidence in their own abilities, as well as funds (which often requires higher intelligence to raise enough of) to care for an autistic child at home, when so many were being "put away".

    There are many different ideas.

    I mix with a lot of mothers of kids with autism, at difficult child 3's drama class. As far as I can determine, none of them has schizophrenia. Of course, that is only a sample size of about ten, and the sample is skewed in favour of those who are competent enough to consider taking their children to the class in the first place.

    What concerns me about this particular view - it comes across to me as yet another attempt to "blame the mother".

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Also, just finding a correlation doesn't mean it's causative.

    My thought exactly.