Home > Science > Increased Risk of Autism in Siblings: Live Facebook Chat with Alycia Halladay, Ph.D.

Increased Risk of Autism in Siblings: Live Facebook Chat with Alycia Halladay, Ph.D.

Autism Speaks’ Alycia Halladay, Ph.D., will be live online this afternoon (4 pm EDT, 1 pm PDT) to answer your questions on the just released study showing a high risk of autism among the younger siblings of children on the spectrum. Dr. Halladay organized and continues to help lead the High-Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium that conducted the research and which continues to study the factors that predispose some families to autism recurrence. Please join us and bring your questions. Meanwhile, please see our news item and a special commentary from Autism Speaks’ Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D.

To join the chat, visit our Facebook tab.

To read the entire transcript from this chat, please visit here.

  1. August 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Does this happen mostly with older ladies having babies and if so why?

  2. August 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I was 20 when my first son was born… and 37 when my twin boys were born… my oldest Autistic… I am sure my twins will be… if only there was an easy way to answer “why?” Connie… if only ;)

  3. August 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I have two boys on the different ends of the spectrum. I am currently in a new relationship and we have discussed the possibility of having children. What about younger siblings with a different mother or father? What was the percentage on that?

    Thank you

  4. August 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Great questions. Please bring them to the web chat this afternoon. Here’s the link:


  5. melissa
    August 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    The new findings in the new siblings study indicate that genetics play a more influencial role in family autism. Would this suggest that environmental factors are less of an influence of autism?

  6. becky oppedal
    August 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    We have been wondering, and our Autistic child is 9, the baby is 21mos. they are acting similar at some thresholds. When do we get concerned, and not appear to just be hysterical to the Medical Professionals. We have avoided shots because there has been some questions….

  7. sabrena Gonzales
    August 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    My Son has austism and I hav a 7 year old desplaying some sings but not the same as his older brother dose it affect some childern differently ???

  8. Laura Waggle
    August 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I have 3 children – 22, 20 and 5 … my 20 year old is autistic , but the other two are not. I have been so careful with my 5 year old’s vaccination schedule just because of my fear…

  9. Jami
    August 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I have 5 kids. My oldest is from my previous marriage and the last 4 with my current husband. My oldest is not autistic but so far my 5 year old and 3 1/2 year old twins have PDD. My 5 year old has a lot of asperger signs but not enough to fully qualify so they gave her the PDD diagnosis. I also have a 9 month old but it’s too early to know if he will have it. My oldest was full term but other were born at 32-34 weeks gestation. I was also on anti-depressants with the ones born early. I did have Hellp Syndrome with my first but the others came early to avoid the full blown hellp during pregnancy. I wonder if the anti-depressants could have played a party in the autism and if the fact the last 4 have the same dad but my oldest has a different one.

  10. LeeAnn
    August 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I have a 5 year old with Autsim and have had 4 miscarriages before her and 2 after. With one of those miscarriages I had a trisomy 15. Are these predispositons for another child with Autism?? Thanks for your help!

  11. quentin
    August 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    my cousin has autisim and will it get beter ass he gets older or will he always be this way?

  12. August 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    My two oldest sons are from my first husband….they both have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome….my oldest also is Bipolar.

    My youngest son is with my last husband and he has been diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder) which is also on the spectrum.

  13. Brizeida
    August 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I just want to add my experience with children and autism. I have four children, 3 boys and one girl. My oldest is 17 years old and my youngest is 8 years. My three oldest children are fine it is my youngest who was diagnosed with autism. So I often think that it is something I did while or after that affected my son and not genetics. Unfortunately there is still so much that we don’t know about it :-(

  14. August 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I have four children and my three daughters, whom are older, were born with no problems, but my son whom I had at 32 had autisim. We asked if him having RDS at birth was a cause but they have ruled that and pretty much everything else out. I just wish someone could tell me why this happens. Is there something that my husband and I have that caused this problem and why is it that only one of our children were born this way?

  15. BBE
    August 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I have four children… the second oldest has symptoms of autism but none of my three other children (including the two youngest) have any issues at all. I firmly believe that there was an environmental trigger that impacted my child after he was born.

  16. Samantha
    August 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    When my 14 year old son was diagnosed at a very early age, I was then pregnant with his younger brother and only sibling. I was told back then, that there was a 50% chance any of his siblings would have developmental delays or be autistic also. It’s true. My younger son, who is 11, has developmentally delayed since the age of 3. I no longer took the gamble. At least I was sort of prepared. I would still like to know the cause, but perhaps I will never know.

  17. Sara
    August 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I have a 6yr old son, and 4yr old boy/girl twins. Both my sons have been diagnosed with autism with our school district, my youngest has been diagnosed through a doctor last week, and the older one has an appointment later this week. The youngest autism is worst than the older ones symptoms. But my daughter is fine.

    • coloradoluck
      August 16, 2011 at 11:51 am

      I am in the same boat Sara. My twins who are 3 1/2 are far worse than my 5 year old. My ped told me to have my 9 month old evaluated yesterday b/c he sees a lot of the delays the others had. I had already had all of them before I found out any of my kids had autism. I have 5 total with my oldest from a previous marriage.

  18. August 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Is there a relationship between father and son?

  19. sam
    August 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I have 3 kids and my middle son who is 5 years old has autism.I was wondering if cause threw the fathers gene or the mothers? I would like to have one more child but I want to know befoure I deside to have another.basicly would my next child have autism too. when I was prego with my daughter they said that she would have autism but she didnt .this is why I dont understand.maybe its because my son was the middle child or maybe its because after I had a miscarrge I became prego too soon.owell I love my kids no matter what.

  20. Jessica Randall
    August 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    My 4 year old has autism and i have a 21 month old son who seems to be fine. i have not yet vaccinated the youngest, afraid of the results…. Am i doing what is best??

  21. M Garcia
    August 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    My 16 year-old son is autistic; his younger brother (from his dad’s second marriage) is autistic also, albeit -in a sense- more severely even though he is more high-functioning. My oldest son and his youngest brother from dad’s second marriage are not autistic. Something genetic, indeed, is going on.

  22. August 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Everyone:
    We tried to answer as many of your questions as possible on today’s live webchat. We’ll be posting the transcript. Thanks.

  23. Susan
    August 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Have you noticed a correlation/increased risk for children to exhibit ASD SX’s if at least one parent has a DX of a mood disorder and or anxiety disorder?

  24. dominique
    August 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    are you ppl serious its a possibility to have more than one kid with autism i have 6yr old twins both autistic different areas of the spectrum and a four year old that is just fine normal as can be he used to mimic autistic behaviours but hten grew out of it it is known for youngwr siblings to mimic the older ones behaviour just as normal siblings do shots dont cause autism i believe it is a more genetic thing why it happens no one may ever know but to stop doing the things to keep your kids healthy cuz you heard somethinfg on the news or someone said them is STUPID just STUPID come on ppl get freaking real hear i heard tyhat if you eat peanut butter while pregnant you child will develope autism now everyone stop eating peanut butter you act like having autism is some sort of curse like it is bad my kids are the best evwer they may be different but not less and i dont care how or wehy all i care is that they ARE HELTHY AND HAPPY WHY CANT YOU ALL WABNT THAT FOR YOUR KIDS INSTEd of wanting to make what makes them sooo special so different and sooo loving go away you all should be ashamed

  25. Kerry
    August 16, 2011 at 5:02 am

    We have two children with autism my oldest is 17 who is a boy and a girl who is 12 the eldest is at the top end of the spectrum accademicaly but socialy poor where our daughter is better socialy but not very good accademicaly.

  26. Makeia Kelly
    August 19, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Hi my name is Makeia. I’m a mother of four. But three of my kids. Are on ASD. At the time I just thoght it was just my oldest son but I notice my middle some start showing signs and youngest. Son the teacher at his school notice and I should look in to it he was on the ASD. How dose this happen that all three of my boy autistic

  27. Sabrina
    August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I have two boys 4 and 7 and the both have autism and was told it was highly unlikely that it was possible i knew that wasn’t true when i was told that i’m not an expert but i just knew the chances were in my eyes more likely. i was able to see the early signs and get him the neccessary help that his older bother was getting. people tell me all the time you have alot on your plate i just smile and say i’ve learned patience and i love my kids alot as a parent you do what your suppose to . they go to a wonderful school that gives me and my family so much support advice and knowledge they my kids and i love them back thank you so much achievement centers for children.

  1. August 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm

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