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Younger siblings of autistic kids 'at high risk of developing the condition'

Younger siblings of autistic kids 'at high risk of developing the condition'
15th August 2011

The risk of a child developing autism when their older sibling has the condition is higher than was previously thought, according to a study, with these findings potentially affecting families using respite care.

A study published in journal Pediatrics found that 19 per cent of younger siblings of children with Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) developed autism - significantly higher than the amount of those in the general population.

Furthermore, the risk of an ASD disorder in male children with an older sibling with the condition was seen to be three times higher than the risk in female infants.

Geraldine Dawson, Autism Speaks chief science officer, said: "By pulling together data from many investigators who are studying infant siblings of children with autism, these results offer a more accurate estimate of the recurrence rate for autism in siblings."

This follows comments by Dr Lars Davidsson, consultant psychiatrist and medical director at the Anglo European Clinic, who said that psychological and educational treatments can make autism easier to live with.

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