# probability of an aspie having an aspie child?

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cubolazaruka
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15 Jan 2014, 9:41 am

If a female mathematician with high functioning AS marries an NT scientist or mathematician and they have a child, what would you estimate is the probability that the child:
a) grows up to be a scientist or mathematician
b) has AS
c) has severe autism

I have to decide whether dating would be worth the hassle and risks. Given that studies of relative co-occurrence rates in monozygotic vs dizygotic twins show that AS has an estimated heritability of ~90% whereas IQ has a heritability of only ~50% I would guess that the answer is no but I want to find out if anyone knows any relevant statistics or can provide links to genetic studies.

StatsNerd
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15 Jan 2014, 12:35 pm

There's a big jump between dating and having children.

a.) Difficult to calculate. I'd need data on the heritability of careers. Other possibilities include physicist (personally I think physics is voodoo, not science), teacher, nurse, musician, beatnik poet, etc.

b.) If we go with a straightforward, Intro-to-Biology 2x2 grid on heritability vs non-heritability, the odds are slightly less than 1/4, assuming AS is a genetic mutation on a Dominant gene, yes? That's also assuming it's a straightforward genetic thing, not a genetics-plus-environment thing. Personally, I think it's lower than that. Is it one gene? The math gets more complicated going out. It's possible.

c.) Unlikely.

Sethno
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15 Jan 2014, 12:40 pm

For many people, dating is involved in looking for a mate, a life partner.

The OP may be doing that, and is thinking ahead.

_________________
AQ 31
Your Aspie score: 100 of 200 / Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 101 of 200
You seem to have both Aspie and neurotypical traits

What would these results mean? Been told here I must be a "half pint".

Joe90
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15 Jan 2014, 12:50 pm

It seems 9 out of 10 couples where at least one has an ASD, seems to pass the ASD on to the child or children too. It's just a prediction of mine, because everywhere I read about parents with ASDs having children with ASDs seem to outnumber the parents with ASDs who have NT children. Asperger's and Autism seems to genetically spread like wildfire for some reason.

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btbnnyr
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15 Jan 2014, 1:04 pm

The probability of having an autistic child is high, considering that most NT scientists/mathematicians also have significant autistic traits, but I don't know what number to assign. Many stem professors have autistic children (all HFA based on eggsamples I know of) or adhd children, I've heard about people around campus. I have wondered about this too, how my genes would mix with another nerd/geek/dork genome, and what kind of offspring there would be.

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Janissy
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15 Jan 2014, 1:38 pm

I googled around but the research still seems to be in the data collection stage and is certainly not in the odds-calculating stage.

For example:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd= ... s=15780853

Quote:
Intergenerational transmission of subthreshold autistic traits in the general population.
Constantino JN, Todd RD.
Author information
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Autistic disorder (AD) is a disabling oligogenic condition characterized by severe social impairment. Subthreshold autistic social impairments are known to aggregate in the family members of autistic probands; therefore, we conducted this study to examine the intergenerational transmission of such traits in the general population.
METHODS:
The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a quantitative measure of autistic traits, was completed on 285 pairs of twins (by maternal report) and on their parents (by spouse report).
RESULTS:
Correlation for social impairment or competence between parents and their children and between spouses was on the order of .4. In families in which both parents scored in the upper quartile for social impairment on the SRS, mean SRS score of offspring was significantly elevated (effect size 1.5). Estimated assortative mating explained approximately 30% of the variation in parent SRS scores.
CONCLUSIONS:
Children from families in which both parents manifest subthreshold autistic traits exhibit a substantial shift in the distribution of their scores for impairment in reciprocal social behavior, toward the pathological end. As has been previously demonstrated in children, heritable subthreshold autistic impairments are measurable in adults and appear continuously distributed in the general population.
PMID: 15780853 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Anecdotal observations such as btbnnyr's observations are that the odds of having a child with autism are higher if one of the parents has it, and/or if one of the parents has subclinical traits (such as a geeky but unimpaired mathematician). But "higher" is about as precise as anybody can get right now. I have made the same observation as btbnnyr. I have noticed that the parents of the autistic children at my daughter's school tend to be in the analytical/science professions rather than the creative/social/business owner professions. But that's nothing you can do an actual odds calculation with other than saying "higher".

Having children is always a gamble. You can hope your child inherits the traits you prefer most in yourself and your partner and hope they don't inherit the traits you prefer least or inherit something terrible like a genetic disease you didn't even realize you were a carrier for. But in the end it is always a gamble.

23andme used to be able to give you a list of genetic conditions you were a carrier for, such as cystic fibrosis and phenolketonuria. That is some seriously valuable information but even still doesn't let you calculate odds. The FDA won't let them tell you that anymore- only ancestry information. But as far as I know they are still allowed to give you a raw data file that gives you your genetic information with no interpretations attached. You then upload that file to an interpreter program such as Promethease and it does what 23andme used to be allowed to do. If you want to drive yourself crazy attempting to guess what your future children will inherit, that's a data-rich way to do it. But in the end, you will never know for sure until they are actually born and sometimes not even then given that some things such as schizophrenia don't show up till the child is older.

Willard
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15 Jan 2014, 2:25 pm

Personally, I think it's a totally unpredictable crap shoot and you shouldn't waste time worrying about it. It's not like you're going to have a Thalidomide baby or something.

My daughter is the product of an autistic Dad and a Mother who's a sociopathic con artist, but she turned out neurotypical as can be, psychologically and ethically sound and is married to a Youth Director and going to Med School.

HFA doesn't always transmit straight down the line, anyway. If my family is any indication, it can skip generations, and appear totally randomly in a group of multiple siblings - I have a niece who's diagnosed PDD-NOS who is a twin. Her twin brother is a poster boy for neurotypicality. Go figure.

droppy
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15 Jan 2014, 2:55 pm

I don't know.
My father has AS/HFA (used to be severe when he was younger but now he's quite mild) and ADD and my mother is a "comoon" NT, meaning that she's not a mathematician (she was terrible at Math in school and that was the only subject she didn't get straight As in) and has little to no autistic traits.
Me and my brother both have disorders. He has been diagnosed with LFA and I was diagnosed with AS and ADD.
But I should consider that my father's family is full of people with mental disorders (Tourette's, ADHD/ADD, LFA, MFA, HFA/AS, SPD and others) and there are some cases in my mother's family as well (mostly depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder).

wetsail
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15 Jan 2014, 3:50 pm

cubolazaruka wrote:
I have to decide whether dating would be worth the hassle and risks.

No one really knows what the direct probability of an aspie having an aspie child is, other than it's significantly higher than if two NT individuals got together and had a child.

My advice would be to not worry about birthing a child, and to get into dating for companionship. Let everything come naturally, and, if you do eventually want to have a child and are not okay with the risks, try adoption. There are lots of good kids out there that need a loving home, and they'd be more than happy to have you as a parent.

Trontine
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15 Jan 2014, 3:53 pm

So, if you knew that your kid would get AS, you would rather not have kids? I don't know much about the statistic when it comes to heritability associated to AS. I just know it's likely if one person in the family has it, that, that person isn't the only one. However, the statistics wouldn't stop me having children.

felinesaresuperior
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15 Jan 2014, 4:03 pm

if you're an aspie, your child has a higher chance of being an aspie, dont know about severe autism, though. i think i read about parents who had asperger and a child with classical autism, not severe though.
a mathematican, yes, if both parents are, the chances are rather high. but my brother was a computer programmer for many years, and my sister in law is too, and none of their three girls want to work in computers. the two big onces are artists, and the smaller one is only interested in medicine, wants to be a doctor.
my father was a professor, and my mother was a teacher. my brother, me, and my sister never went for the teaching business. and i'd hate it. last thing in the world i want to do.

naturalplastic
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15 Jan 2014, 4:31 pm

Willard wrote:
Personally, I think it's a totally unpredictable crap shoot and you shouldn't waste time worrying about it. It's not like you're going to have a Thalidomide baby or something.

My daughter is the product of an autistic Dad and a Mother who's a sociopathic con artist, but she turned out neurotypical as can be, psychologically and ethically sound and is married to a Youth Director and going to Med School.

HFA doesn't always transmit straight down the line, anyway. If my family is any indication, it can skip generations, and appear totally randomly in a group of multiple siblings - I have a niece who's diagnosed PDD-NOS who is a twin. Her twin brother is a poster boy for neurotypicality. Go figure.

This.

An aspie marrying another aspie probably would up the odds that any progeny would be on the autism spectrum, but by how much is anyone's guess at this point.

But its a crapshoot what kinda kids youre gonna have regardless of who you marry.

If you avoid marrying an aspie, and avoid even an aspie-like fellow scientists, and marry some affable salesmen type NT(whom you might be less compatible with)- you still might get a kid with diabetes , or some other unpredictable inborn condition. If the person doesnt have autism in their family tree the almost certainly have SOMETHING else in their family tree (diabetes, sickle cell anemia, Tay sachs disease, alcoholism, more suceptiblility to certain diseases like cancer than most people, or mental conditions like Adhd, or what have you).

motherof2
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15 Jan 2014, 10:23 pm

cubolazaruka wrote:
If a female mathematician with high functioning AS marries an NT scientist or mathematician and they have a child, what would you estimate is the probability that the child:
a) grows up to be a scientist or mathematician
b) has AS
c) has severe autism

I have to decide whether dating would be worth the hassle and risks. Given that studies of relative co-occurrence rates in monozygotic vs dizygotic twins show that AS has an estimated heritability of ~90% whereas IQ has a heritability of only ~50% I would guess that the answer is no but I want to find out if anyone knows any relevant statistics or can provide links to genetic studies.

Only one of us is on the autism spectrum and in science/math, but I have sensory issues and Depression. This has not been a good mix for our two kids. They seem to have all of these traits but at higher levels. Neither my husband or I had trouble in school, but I did have learning difficulties in early elementary school. We held back or oldest and may have to hold back our youngest. Our oldest is mainstreamed now and was moderate on the spectrum when young but more AS now besides the speech delay. She has my learning difficulty and attention/sensory issues and my husbands social awareness issues. Our son is mainstreamed but has a lot of behavior issues. More like husband is intellect and interests but very angry.

I don't know if I would have wanted to have kids if I knew what I know now. We were a great couple and would have left it at that. I may have been a good mother of easy kids but they push me over the edge. I love them completely and don't wish they weren't born but I don't think our genetic info goes together well.

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