In an effort to bring more education and awareness to the site I found this article from TIME Magazine that states the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry has released a study that says women who were abused as children were more than likely to give birth to Autistic children.
Women who reported physical, emotional, or sexual abuse when they were young were more likely to have a child with autism compared to women who were not abused. The more severely the women were abused, the higher their chances of having a child with autism; compared to women who weren’t abused, those who endured the most serious mistreatment were 60% as likely to have an autistic child.
How? The researchers believe that some of the lifestyle circumstances associated with abuse, such as poor nutrition, could be responsible for some of the association. It’s also possible that abuse causes biological changes in a woman’s immune system, including disruption of the stress response, that could lead to harmful effects on a developing fetus. Studies have shown that autistic children showed abnormal stress responses, and it’s possible that a mother’s altered stress reaction could be passed on to her child. “Maternal inflammation affects the developing brain, and maternal inflammation and immune function have been hypothesized to be causes of autism,” the researchers write.
Now the study does not say that it believes that this is the only cause of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I’d like to hear from parents of Autistic children and the survivors of abuse that have children about what you think of this study. Does it have any validity or is it just another stab in the dark when it comes to the mystery surrounding Autism? You are more than welcome to leave anonymous comments or e-mail us.