MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new autism study found that siblings of children with autism have a much greater risk of developing the disorder than first thought.
Researchers followed 664 babies who had a sibling with autism and found that those babies had a 20 times greater chance of having autism as well.
“Our finding indicate … the recurrence of autism within families is at least double what we thought it was previously,” said Dr. Ted Hutman, of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment.
With the risk even higher now, experts say doctors will use the new findings to counsel parents of children with autism who want to have more kids.
It’s already known that autism is more common in boys than girls, and in the study, boys with siblings with autism had a 26 percent risk of autism compared to 9 percent risk for girls.