How Many Parents Have More Than One Child on the Autism Spectrum?

What do Ember, Maia, Ronnie57 and many other parents on have in common? They each have more than one child on the autism spectrum.

In a sibling study between 2003 and 2008, the MIND Institute found that the likelihood of parents having a second child with autism was between 15 and 20%.  A 2010 IAN study  reported that out of 1200 families participating, 11% of parents with a child with autism had a second child also diagnosed with ASD.Siblings with Autism

Last week we conducted an informal poll on the MyAutismTeam Facebook Page  asking parents, “How many children on the autism spectrum do you have?”  Exactly 300 of you responded and here’s what you said:

  • Fully 25% of respondents said they have more than 1 child on the autism spectrum. Eight families (3%) reported having 4 or more children on the spectrum.
  • While 75% of you said you had 1 child on the spectrum, we understand that other conditions may impact your other children.

In your comments, profiles and stories on MyAutismTeam, many of you have shared that other siblings have been diagnosed with conditions including  ADHD, OCD, BiPolar, Epilepsy, Anxiety Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, and more.

It makes sense that a site devoted to helping parents find great autism providers for their children (like MyAutismTeam), might attract a larger portion of parents with multiple children on the spectrum.   What’s amazing about these parents is how selflessly they share their wisdom and experience with other parents in the community.

Do you have more than one child on the spectrum? Do you have one child on the spectrum with ‘neuro-typical’ siblings? What sorts of ways do you manage routines? Share your comments below or go to MyAutismTeam to share your story.

(Note: currently you can only add one child to your MyAutismTeam profile. Based on these results and your feedback we will be enable you to add more than one child in the coming months.  Thanks for your patience!).

Posted by Eric – GM of MyAutismTeam

7 thoughts on “How Many Parents Have More Than One Child on the Autism Spectrum?

  1. I only have one child, but my husband and I are both on the spectrum. Our son has autism, and I was diagnosed with HFA (high functioning autism), and my husband has Asperger’s.

  2. I’m very glad you ran this poll, it helps on days like today and yesterday to know that there are others out there going through the same thing as I am. The past couple days have not been good ones. Routines during the summer are very hard and my kids behaviors are showing that. Now going through medication increases doesn’t help much. But just having my children are blessings in themselves. I treasure my kids every day and count my blessings every night. I don’t look at what my kids “can’t or won’t do”, I look at what they do and celebrate that. I was told that my 21yr old would never walk or talk, and she’s doing both. I was told that my 9yr old would never see his 3rd birthday and look where he is… My thing is, “tell me they can’t, and I’ll prove to you that they CAN!”

  3. I have a son now aged 11 on the autism spectrum and a daughter aged 10 also on the autism spectrum. My four year old daughter has traits and whilst i don’t think she is as severely affected as her siblings i do think she is on the spectrum somewhere and it will probably become more apparent after she starts school.

  4. I have four kids–nine year old twins, boy/girl (the boy has Asperger’s), a four year old daughter with autism, and a twenty-month old son under evaluation due to many “red flags.”

  5. I have a 7 year old son on the spectrum who is very high functioning and I am beginning to think his brother age 4 is on it too because of some red flags that keep popping up.

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