Researchers have made new discoveries about what is causing some children to develop autism. A new study found mothers older than 40 were about 50 per cent or 1.51 times more likely to have a child with autism than mothers aged 25 to 29; the risk for fathers older than 40 was 36 per cent higher than for men in their late 20s. Although the fathers age can be a contributing factor a mothers age is far more relevant.
Researchers have been perplexed with autism for some time now. Some scientists have linked the disorder to different factors including child vaccinations, environmental toxins, heredity and genetics. However, they have not found any single cause for autism. Even mothers with adequate medical insurance can find themselves in this position.
According to the Autism Society, autism is a pervasive development disorder that affects between 1 in 100 and 1 in 110 children in the US. It starts before the age of 3 and is characterized by repetitive and restricted behaviors and deficiency in social skills and communication and is thought to be linked to abnormal brain development that probably starts in the womb.
Researchers still need to figure out what it is about older parents that puts their children at greater risk for autism and other adverse outcomes, so they can we can begin helping those mothers who are at risk. In the meantime, health professional suggest mothers said it’s important to note that the increased risks are small and that most babies born to older mothers do not develop autism.
Researchers said the overall low risk for autism “may be the most important take-home message especially for prospective parents. However, expecting mothers who have health insurance get better care during their pregnancy, and have a much better chance of delivering a healthy baby. It is essential that all expecting mothers have adequate access to doctors for health advice and care.