Who thinks about the possibility of autism when you meet the person you want to live happily ever after with?

I don’t have a child on the Autism spectrum, but I’m in the minority as Autism currently affects every one in every 88 children. It is a sobering fact that I think our society is finally seriously grappling with and attempting to unearth its causes and best ways to treat it, as we now have the month of April dedicated to Autism awareness. 

 

As a result we’ve been barraged by a litany of studies and research results all incumbent on finding the culprit to this condition, and in a study, scientists seem to be getting closer to finding a gene, present in the father’s DNA, that may be associated with some forms of Autism. But it is also not conclusive that having that gene will give one Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). And if you do possess this gene, having that information will not verify the severity your offspring’s autism.

 

If my child had ASD I’m not sure how I would feel about this; would I want to get my husband tested to see if he was a carrier of that gene?

Perhaps if we were planning on having more kids. But being armed with that information- would that prevent me from trying to get pregnant- I also don’t know. I can’t possibly imagine what it might be like to raise a child on the spectrum and all the joy, and at times pain that journey might take.  Would  knowing that there is a genetic marker that may be the culprit to your child’s ASD have any impact on you, and will it or does it change anything for you or your future offspring?

Comments

  1. says

    This topic comes up not infrequently in our home. And it was first raised by our son, Ben, who IS on the autistic spectrum. His opinions on this subject has provided me with a certain perspective that might not be a popular one.

    Ben, who is turning 13 in June, was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was nearly 6. For the past two years, he has donated all of his tzedakah money to Autism Speaks — including raising over $7,200 for his Bar Mitzvah last month — because he wants them to do two things: find a cure and develop prenatal testing that will determine if a fetus has autism. When he first expressed this, I asked him what impact prenatal testing would have and he said, “so parents could have a theraputic abortion.” After a few (tear-filled) moments, I asked him if he understood what he was suggesting.

    He turned to me and said, “I’m not stupid. Of course I know what I am saying. But how could any parent wish to see his or her child be in pain and struggle every single day of his life?”

    I love my son. I hate autism. I hate what autism does to our family.

    So yeah….autism is the main factor of why we aren’t having more kids and would have definitely impacted our choices if we knew we were at risk.