The Web address of this article is
This Swedish research study illustrates a possible tie between parental
"mental illness" and
autism in kids. This suggests that
may harm the next generations, which is the central
premise of this nonprofit educational Web site.
See my comments after the article for more perspective. The links and hilights below
are mine. -
Peter Gerlach, MSW
+ + +
In another sign pointing to an
inherited component to autism, a study released on Monday found that having
a schizophrenic parent or a mother with psychiatric problems roughly doubled
a child's risk of being autistic.
"Our research shows that
mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia
were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said
Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked
on the study.
"We also saw higher rates of depression and personality disorders among
mothers, but not fathers," she said in a statement.
The study of families in Sweden with children born between 1977 and 2003
involved 1,227 children diagnosed with autism. They were compared with
families of nearly 31,000 children who did not have autism. Sweden's
detailed health registry provides a wealth of data for such studies.
Autism, which is marked by impaired social interaction and communication, or
a related disorder like Asperger's syndrome,
affects an estimated one out of
every 150 U.S. children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
estimates. Asperger's is marked by mild social awkwardness.
No one knows what causes autism, but
researchers think it is likely that several genes and possibly environmental
factors contribute. Some autism
advocates believe childhood vaccinations play a role, although most medical
experts say it is extremely unlikely.
Which genes lie behind various mental illnesses are also poorly understood,
according to the researchers, whose study appeared in the journal
Pediatrics, published by the
American Academy of Pediatrics.
"Earlier studies have shown a higher rate of psychiatric disorders in
families of autistic children than in the general population," Daniels said.
The association between a child's autism and mental illness in the parent
was strongest with schizophrenia, and was less powerful when the mother
suffered from depression or personality disorders. There was little
association between autism and parental addiction to alcohol or drugs or
some other types of mental illness.
It was not clear if it was significant that having a mother, but not a
father, with certain mental illnesses, raised the risk of autism.
"Establishing an association between autism and other psychiatric disorders
might enable future investigators to better focus on genetic and
environmental factors that might be shared among these disorders," Daniels
Copyright © 2008 Reuters
Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
researching human development and behavior since 1979, I propose that
non-organic "psychiatric disorders" ("mental illness") comes from
These wounds are unintentionally caused by early-childhood abandonment,
neglect, and abuse (trauma).
Reuters summary says "No one knows what causes autism..." This
Swedish research seems to validate the that
autism and a wide range of other
"psychological disorders" comes at least partly from a dysfunctional birth
family ("parental mental illness").
If this is true, people treating childhood autism should (1) learn about the
lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle, and then (2) use family and individual
therapy with kids' family adults vs." treating" the child.
research on this premise needed.
For more perspective, see...
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