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Autism and heredity

Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders


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November 9th, 2007, 01:29 AM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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A common theory is that autism is caused by the interaction of a genetic predisposition and an early environmental "trigger". I anyone else in your family on the spectrum (or do you believe them to be)? What about you yourself, do you have any of the characteristics of autism disorders, even if very mild?

I wonder, because when my oldest boy was a toddler, a nurse observing him asked if he was high-functioning autism. He is not, and I have no concerns about him in that respect, but he did have certain behaviors when he was smaller that might have made me wonder if I had known anyhtng about autism then. And myself, as a child I had many behaviors that might suggest an ASD. I walked on tiptoe, habitually, it was a hard habit to break - my folks and sitter would squash me down on the head to remind me to stop, and made me wear stiff shoes. I was VERY particular, had to have everything "just so" in my room, all lined up nicely, books in alphabetic order. I didn't play with my dolls, I would dress them and set them up and leave them that way, like mannequins - no making them interact, not the way my little girl does, making them talk to each other, creating little scenes. I just dressed them, posed them, then wouldn't let anyone play with them. same with Lego. I had to use certain utensils or I wouldn't use any. Certain dishes. Wouldn't let my food touch. Wouldn't allow my food or utensils to touch my lips. Not even cup rims. to this day I am like that. I read early, read the dictionary, loved words. Could spell anything. My moms friends used to throw huge words at me , prescription drug names even - rarely got me. I kicked butt at spelling bees. I would count my steps as I walked home from school. Knew where to put my feet to end off each portion of sidewalk on an even number, lol. I did not do well in social situations, was very much a loner. Very detached. Hated hugs, any kind of physical affection. I still do not like people touching me. I have to be in the mood for it, and by invitation only. I do not like to meet people in the eye. I can play by ear any song I hear. Sing too, never off key. I was such a picky eater. Had to be certain brands even. My folks had to bring my particular brands with us wherever we went in case I would not eat anyhting there. Seriously picky, I was ill more than once because my foods were not available and I could not eat what there was. I could probably think of more but I'm tired, lol. I was basically a very weird and particular child

So what about you? Your DH? Any of your other kids or your sibs?

Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

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November 9th, 2007, 09:55 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North
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Hmmm....in my "not so professional opinion..lol..
You sound like you have quite a few Asperger traits. A good book to read would be "Pretending to be Normal" by...oh no, I forgot her name....Leann Willey...something like that. Its about a woman who was dx'd with AS when she was an adult. She also has a dd who has AS and wrote a second book called "Asperger's in the Family". I used to have both of them but I think I donated them to the library .

My brother is very Aspergerish. He is a very picky eater. He used to tape his favorite show(a western), and then play it back so much that he memorized all the conversations and even wrote them down in notebooks. He loved politics so much that he drove everyone crazy wanting to talk about it and nothing else. He was very socially stunted and to this day, has very few friends. When we would snap beans from the garden, he had to use a cutting board and a knife. He would set the radio to his favorite station, get comfortable in his chair, put some beans on the cutting board, line them up until they were even at one end, then he would cut them with a knife because he thought all the beans should be as even as possible Oh and when you say that your food couldn't touch on the plate, he is the same way. He is also a compulsive hoarder and has a hard time throwing ANYTHING away. My dads mother has some of these tendencies as well and I have a few. I have social anxiety and just anxiety over everything. I didn't always fit in socially and was always afraid that I would do the wrong thing in social situations. I hated steping on cracks in the sidewalk and always like everything to be even. I'm also a picky eater....don't like textures of certain foods. I've always loved reading and was one of the top readers in my class...and spellers too although not to the extent that you were....the dictionary was "not" one of my favorite books I don't think I would get a dx of AS today but I think my brother and grandmother might. They are both very concrete in a lot of ways. So, while my dd doesn't come by her AS dx in the normal way, I think that had she not had surgery, she would probably still have some AS tendencies.

You talked about toe walking, my second dd is 8 and has been a toe walker since she was little. We recently had her go through six weeks of PT because her muscles are slightly tight. She loosened right up with the PT. We were a little worried when she was about 2 because she was a late talker, a toe walker, she rubbed yogurt all over herself at any chance she got(sensory), and would cry when she couldn't line her crayons up like she wanted. But, she seems pretty average at this point.
Tammy, Mom to
Abby (19), Kacie (13), Chase (11), & Jacob (7)

"...They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family!" ~ Bobby ~ Supernatural
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November 13th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Bug-n-Ed's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yes, I really do think it's hereditary to some degree. I don't think it's just a theory any more that there's a genetic component to ASD. I'm absolutely certain my dad has Asperger's syndrome. He also has OCD (he's a hoarder). He's very awkward in social situations, he'll talk to complete strangers when standing in line about random things. Most of the time, the stranger is giving him a polite look, but the body language says "back off, I don't want to talk with you." He never sees that. He repeats the same stories over and over and over even if you tell him that he's already told you. I even feel uncomfortable around him because of his social awkwardness.

My parents are and have in the past been having marital problems. It wasn't until we started going through stuff with Brandon and I was reading and reading about ASD that I had the thought my parents' marital problems could possibly be caused by my dad thinking he's always right. It's not a domineering type thing of thinking he's always right, he really can't see another person's perspective to think that he might possibly be wrong. Anyway, I mentioned it to my mom, she borrowed a book that talked about ASD's in adults and then mentioned it to their church leader who they were going to for marriage counseling. In our church, the leaders don't get paid for being a leader, they just do it -- so they also have regular jobs outside of their church obligations. This particular guy was a psychologist professionally. So, when my mom told him about what I was thinking about my dad, he said, "I don't know why I didn't see it sooner. That very well could be the case." He then changed his game plan and pretty much told my mom that she just can't expect too much out of my dad. So, by him being a psychologist by profession and being able to see that he may possibly have Asperger's makes it much more likely in my mind that he really does.

As for me, I think I have mild things. I've always been extremely shy IRL. I've gotten better, but I still have a really hard time making friends. I tend to only want to talk about things that interest me. I often don't know how to get into social situations, just feeling kinda awkward on the outside. I mean, I want to have friends IRL and be social and such, but it's hard for me. That's really the only thing that I can think of regarding me.

My husband's side also has things that could contribute. My BIL's wife thinks that my FIL may possibly be somewhere on the spectrum. I don't see it as much with him as I do with my dad. It might just be because I don't know him as well. There are some small things that could be possible. Some of my neices and nephews on dh's side have ADHD and are bipolar. I think my dh may also be bipolar. My BIL is bipolar as well and it's possible some of his other brothers are as well.
Mommy to Brandon (12) and Edward (10)
Emma and Ellie (4)

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November 20th, 2007, 04:17 AM
chele11's Avatar RIC
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Louisville, Ky
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It's been awhile since I last posted!

I've always wondered if it were more genetic/environmental. I'm leaning more towards environmental than anything, bc of the large uprising.

But then, maybe it's just that we expect sooooo much from people in social situations, maybe we aren't designed to act a specific way? Maybe our Autistic kiddos are the normal ones? :-) Wishful thinking, huh?

Tayler's dad is Bipolar (altho he says now his dx has been changed to mere depression-I think he's still bipolar. His sister comitted suicide before Tayler was even born and she was bipolar. My mom has some issues-she's a flippin' nutcase-thank gawd I was adopted later in life (I was 13). My 1/2 brother is bipolar. hmmm, I see a pattern...
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November 21st, 2007, 09:04 PM
Mjp121212's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 8,065
I have adhd and ocd, my dh's nephew has aspergers, and we wonder if dh and his brother have it too.

Thanks to Maitri for my wonderful siggy!
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November 23rd, 2007, 08:43 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,323
I hope you don't mind my responding here. I am not a parent of a child with ASD but I am a speech-language pathologist, Ph.D. candidate/researcher focusing exclusively on ASD. It is widely accepted among researchers and the scientific community that there is a genetic component to ASD. Numerous chromosomes, gene mutations, etc. have been cited. THe problem is that to date, there is no ONE cause. There are currently a wide range of genetic factors that are found in kids with ASD.

February, 2005
August, 2005
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November 24th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Mjp121212's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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there's also a LARGE percentage of asd kids to parents who are engineers too. Both dh and his brother having engineering degrees.

Thanks to Maitri for my wonderful siggy!
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