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seatbeltblue
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10 Dec 2012, 11:17 am

I'm ASD, my fiancee is not. I'm pretty concerned about how likely it is we'll have children on the spectrum. I'm not the only person in my family with ASD, either; my cousin Ben has it, and I'm pretty sure a couple of my uncles do, too.

So, anybody know anything, or have their own kids and can offer advice?



whirlingmind
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10 Dec 2012, 12:49 pm

Yes it is. That doesn't mean your children will definitely have it, but there is a very high chance. Me and both my children have it (both girls).

As to whether you should have children, only you can decide that. What I would say, is that it will be challenging for more reasons than it is for an NT, if you get stressed easily, if you have sensory issues, if you think you couldn't cope with the demands of a child easily, if you think you would struggle enabling them to get socialising opportunities then I would think long and hard about it. On the positive side, if you are the male, you may do less of the child caring role so maybe it will be easier, if you are the female it's that much harder because usually most of the child caring falls to the woman.

If your children are on the spectrum the difficulties will be even worse than if they are not, you will have to deal with their likely meltdowns, phobias, anxieties, obsessive behaviours, which may conflict with your own needs and abilities to cope. You could also understand them better having an ASD yourself. If they are on the spectrum there is also the chance that they would be lower functioning or at least if they are higher functioning still unable to be easily independent, so when they are older you could still end up needing to offer above the ordinary support parents usually do, such as they could be still living at home at a late age.

Children can be absolutely amazing, and there will be many very special moments, but it's a very hard job at the best of times, your life is no longer your own, you can't always retreat to a quiet place to de-stress when you need to. If you have a supportive extended family that would make things a lot easier. If you are quite isolated that makes things a lot more difficult.

I would just say be really sure. Once you have a child you can't give it back. It's for life. And your life will be changed forever once children come along.


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alex
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10 Dec 2012, 1:05 pm

Autism is definitely genetic. This shouldn't affect your choice whether or not to have kids. I'm glad I'm autistic and a lot of people with autism are proud as well.


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10 Dec 2012, 1:10 pm

This next generation of childhood diagnosed aspies will make things better for all autistics, the suffering of their ancestors will motivate them, and a pro aspie upbringing will make some aspies flourish. Like Gandhi
An aspie messiah will be born and lead us all into/out of Jerusalem. Dont stay too tuned to the internet, the revolution will not be televised

I see spectrumite kiddies everywhere with spectrumite parents.
Everything is heritable.



Kairi96
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10 Dec 2012, 1:20 pm

Yes, it is. My family is the visible example of that: my grandmother (my father's mother) seemed have AS and Tourette's--->my father seems to have AS and Tourette's as well--> my older brother has LFA, and I have AS and Tourette's. Autism is heritable, just like almost any other mental disorder. But it doesn't necessarily mean that a person with Autism will have autistic children. I'm sure that there are people on the spectrum whose children aren't autistic.


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Surfman
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10 Dec 2012, 1:29 pm

alex wrote:
This shouldn't affect your choice whether or not to have kids.


Some autism researcher is going to have a field day as I donated sperm for 7 children, prior to learning of my ASD's.
I have recently informed the clinic that I believe I suffer from aspergers syndrome, and left it at that.
I wonder if they have relayed my admission to recipients during their recipient support meetings.
Some of the recipient mothers, are possible spectrumites too, though potential autisms is unbeknownst to them.
I may get to know them one day.
Hopefully the recipients wont want their money back, and still love the kids, even if they are aspies.


I think in cases of lower functioning autism, deciding not to spawn may be a good choice too.



CockneyRebel
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10 Dec 2012, 2:43 pm

I'm autistic and I'm happy to be alive. :)

I said some pretty abrasive things, so I've edited my post. I hope I didn't hurt any feelings.


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Evinceo
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10 Dec 2012, 3:05 pm

Well, I know exactly who I got it from.

Choosing not to have kids because of your genes is pointless. Helpful genes become more common, unhelpful ones become less common, with or without your intervention. You handled them, and your kids will handle them too. Saying that your genes aren't worth passing on is like saying that you're not worthy of existence.



antifeministfrills
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10 Dec 2012, 3:21 pm

seatbeltblue wrote:
I'm ASD, my fiancee is not. I'm pretty concerned about how likely it is we'll have children on the spectrum. I'm not the only person in my family with ASD, either; my cousin Ben has it, and I'm pretty sure a couple of my uncles do, too.

So, anybody know anything, or have their own kids and can offer advice?


Yes, it is. Heritable =/= 'inheritable' though (although autism has a lot to do with genes). Heritability is used to determine to what extent a trait is genetic within a population.



CuriousKitten
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10 Dec 2012, 3:38 pm

Were I of child-bearing age, I wouldn't hesitate to have kids based on ASD alone. Although it is genetic, genes aren't the only factors. I've read several accounts where the first child was classic, but after the mom changed her diet (mostly avoiding gluten, etc, and going organic), and made certain to get enough vitamins, esp folic acid, the following children were much higher functioning.

If you, or anyone in your family, have any problems with gluten, etc, the child's mother should follow the same dietary restrictions during pregnancy and breastfeeding just in case the child is also sensitive.


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btbnnyr
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10 Dec 2012, 3:41 pm

I'm pretty sure I inherited it from both sides of the family full of BAP blood relatives.



Ca2MgFe5Si8O22OH2
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10 Dec 2012, 4:18 pm

Surfman wrote:
Some autism researcher is going to have a field day as I donated sperm for 7 children, prior to learning of my ASD's.

I'm sorry but this made me laugh. if someone actually cared I'd want to kick something, though. f*****g eugenics. if they ever find a gay gene I'm sure like, everything about me is going to go extinct as people decide they'd rather have "normal" kids. f**k that noise.

both me and my brother have ASD (his is undiagnosed and was worse than mine as a kid, mine is recently diagnosed because now I'm lower functioning than he is in our 20s) and there are some strong guesses about others on my mom's side of the family, which tends towards highly-intelligent "eccentric" types and has for generations. honestly I'm probably the lowest functioning person in the family and I did so well in school for so long that I was only diagnosed in my mid 20s (i.e. like a week or two ago.)

I definitely want to have kids, though I'm not sure about having my own. that's kind of a last resort if adoption doesn't happen. (because I'm gay and because there are kids who need homes already, not because I think my genes are defective or something.) I mostly see children as a chance to give someone all the education and life opportunity that I wish I could have had. I evaluate potential mates on the basis of the statistical probability of our children having high academic achievement. (huge points for native speakers of languages other than English and classically trained musicians, for example.)

you can have the "best" genes in the world and still wind up a complete loser if you're raised in the wrong environment. it's all about education.


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Janissy
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10 Dec 2012, 5:04 pm

whirlingmind wrote:
Yes it is. That doesn't mean your children will definitely have it, but there is a very high chance. Me and both my children have it (both girls).

As to whether you should have children, only you can decide that. What I would say, is that it will be challenging for more reasons than it is for an NT, if you get stressed easily, if you have sensory issues, if you think you couldn't cope with the demands of a child easily, if you think you would struggle enabling them to get socialising opportunities then I would think long and hard about it. On the positive side, if you are the male, you may do less of the child caring role so maybe it will be easier, if you are the female it's that much harder because usually most of the child caring falls to the woman.

If your children are on the spectrum the difficulties will be even worse than if they are not, you will have to deal with their likely meltdowns, phobias, anxieties, obsessive behaviours, which may conflict with your own needs and abilities to cope. You could also understand them better having an ASD yourself. If they are on the spectrum there is also the chance that they would be lower functioning or at least if they are higher functioning still unable to be easily independent, so when they are older you could still end up needing to offer above the ordinary support parents usually do, such as they could be still living at home at a late age.

Children can be absolutely amazing, and there will be many very special moments, but it's a very hard job at the best of times, your life is no longer your own, you can't always retreat to a quiet place to de-stress when you need to. If you have a supportive extended family that would make things a lot easier. If you are quite isolated that makes things a lot more difficult.

I would just say be really sure. Once you have a child you can't give it back. It's for life. And your life will be changed forever once children come along.


This is the really important thing. Can you cope with whatever your child happens to be?



lilaclily
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10 Dec 2012, 10:38 pm

I have Aspergers's. I suspect my Dad and his Mum have/had Aspergers's. So no surprises where my Asperger's genes come from.

My husband is NT, we have one ASD Son and one NT Daughter (although she has some Asperger's traits).

Asperger's to me is a normal way of being, so my Son having ASD is absolutely normal to me. I understand the ways in which he thinks and acts - he makes sense to me, because that's how I operate. So for me, having Asperger's is a bonus, it is like a key to relate to my Son and his difficulties.

However it is hard, - especially when I don't know the strategies to help my Son, because personally I'm still struggling with similar isssues. All I can do is acknowlege how hard it is, even if I don't have the solutions.

Equally, it can be tough with my Daughter and trying to work out her emotional states - absolute mystery to me. I'm supposed to know what she is feeling, she doesn't give me any verbal clues. Whereas, my Son simply states "he is feeling ....". No guesswork required on my part, no confusion, no emotional games - he just tells me bluntly how it is for him.

However, my philosophy is, I'm the break in the genetic chain. I know I have Asperger's, (and my son knows he has ASD) and I'm on a mission- educating both of us. Armed with Asperger's/ASD knowledge we are better able to understand and accept ourselves and be proud of what we achieve (we just have to work harder than NT's in certain areas!).



MrPickles
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11 Dec 2012, 2:57 am

Asperger's runs through out my family - Uncles, mother, brother, sister (maybe) - nieces and nephews - my son -- so yes its genetic!

As for weather or not to have children -- why not! -- an NT is not any more likely to have a happy contented life than an Aspie child. There are several members of my family that are quite happy and well adjusted and Asper.


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KnarlyDUDE09
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11 Dec 2012, 2:31 pm

I believe it is genetic, but environment factors do also play a large part...I for sur iherited it from my dad's side; e himself isn't Aspie, but my Nan sure is. Plus there's my half brother who has an ADHD diagnosis, but seems more Aspie.


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