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Tag Archives: autistic help

Autism risk declines in later-born children?

The risk of certain autism spectrum disorders is highest in firstborn children and declines in each additional sibling born to the same mother, reports a large Finnish study published 28 January in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology1. When the researchers looked at Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and childhood autism, in which symptoms appear before the age of 3, as a group, they found that a diagnosis is most common in firstborns. The latter two conditions are now considered part of the autism diagnosis. When they looked at each diagnosis separately, the researchers found that the firstborn effect holds for Asperger and PDD-NOS, while second-born children are at the highest risk for childhood autism.   The relationship between birth order and autism risk is still unclear, with some studies finding the greatest risk among firstborn children2, 3, or in the first- and fourth-born siblings4. Some of the studies are ...

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