The autism spectrum is quite a complicated area of modern medical science. Children who are on this spectrum begin exhibiting symptoms as early as few months old, while others seem to be normal for the first few years of their lives and later on still start showing symptoms.
Autism and its causes continues to be a mystery to researchers, therapists and parents. What we do know about autism is that it occurs roughly in about one in every 1,000 children and more often in males than females at a ratio of 4 to 1. Autism also occurs most often in the 1st or the 4th child in the family.
When it comes to understanding autism, people are told that they need to get more social skills. Children with autism are often said to not act social, but that’s not true. Children with autism can learn how to interact socially just like typical children and often times they have more friends, and are more popular than the non-autistic children.
But does autism have roots in something that may happen during pregnancy? Could childbirth or complications that occur during labor cause autism, or autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)? Are there warning signs even during pregnancy that may alert parents of the possibility of autism in their child? This, we do not know yet but as research continues the answer will sooner or later reveal itself.
Autism and Labor Inductions
Delivering a child naturally is the best way to give birth to healthy babies, but sometimes birthing naturally is not possible and labor induction is required. In some cases this should be used as a last resort, however, as previous research on autism has linked this condition to labor inductions.
Some researchers believe that the autism may actually have roots in the underlying genetic issues that are already there before labor induction occurs, but a link has been indeed discovered between mothers who have their labor induced and a higher frequency of autistic newborns.
Autism and Parents’ Age
Other studies have shown that the parents’ age is another factor that increases the likelihood of birthing autistic babies. It is important to remember, however that this is a link and not a cause.
Some specialists believe that this link (autism – parents’ age) is similar to the Down’s syndrome – mother’s age link in that the mother’s age increases the child’s risk of the Down’s syndrome in the baby. Not only does the mother’s age increase the child’s risk of autism, but research also shows that older fathers could also increase the chances of getting autistic newborns. Researchers have discovered that fathers older than 40 are 6 times more likely to have a child with autism than fathers under 30 of age.
Autism and Breech Position
Last but not least, a third possible cause for autism in newborns that parents should be aware of is the infant’s breech position.
Recent findings indicate that having a baby in a breech position during pregnancy is also associated with a higher incidence of autism. However, one could argue which came first, “the chicken or the egg”. Namely, is the baby in a breech position because autism is inherently present already, or is the baby seeking breech position causing ASD?
There are many indicators that autism could have roots in the prenatal period, but this is not fully confirmed yet. Hopefully, in time we will be able not only to accurately pinpoint the underlying causes of autism, but we will also have more options to successful treat the condition. But in the meantime, being aware of these 3 possible causes for autism and opting for a natural childbirth is the right thing to do for your newborn.