Researchers once again link C-sections with autism in a way that might surprise you. According to Autism Speaks, “the largest-ever study of a suspected link between cesarean delivery and autism confirms an association but suggests that it’s due to a shared trigger. In other words, the C-section procedure itself does not appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism. Rather, one or more common, underlying factors may increase the likelihood for both.”
A recent study reported on in the JAMA Psychiatry confirms previous findings that “children born by C-section are approximately 20% more likely to be diagnosed as having ASD. However, the association did not persist when using sibling controls, implying that this association is due to familial confounding by genetic and/or environmental factors. “
They conclude that C-section doesn’t cause autism. Rather some unknown genetic or environment factor is responsible for increasing the risk for both autism and C-section.
The hope is that with continued research scientists will find out why autism is so prevalent. According to the latest estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
While this research is fascinating, if you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with ASD you will also benefit from learning how science is unlocking the key to understanding Asperger behavior. My book, Out of Mind – Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome (ASD), explores the science behind Asperger’s. If you want to understand your Aspie better, this is a must read.