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Thread: Possible link between Autism and Induced Labor

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    mrs.b is offline Count / Countess
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    Default Possible link between Autism and Induced Labor

    A really interesting study has just come out that poses a possible link between Autism and induced labor. You can read more here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/...induced-labor/

    Unlike many studies of this nature, the authors are very careful to point out that no conclusive cause-effect conclusions can be drawn, but the link is noteworthy and requires significantly more research. I was induced, and after speaking to some friends who are also parents of Autistic children last evening, each of those births was as well. The author of the linked article puts it well, though, when he says:
    "There are always three genetic interpretations when A is associated with B: A causes B, B causes A, or C causes both A and B.

    In the case of this study, either inducing/augmenting labor triggers autism in some children, children with autism are more likely to require induced labor, or some other factor(s) is a risk factor for both developing autism and needing to induce or augment labor. This current study does not contain data that can differentiate among these possibilities."
    Unlike the once-claimed ties with vaccinations, this one has real merit to provide answers that might help future children and parents.

    I found it interesting, and know there are a couple other parents of kiddos on the Spectrum, so thought I'd share the article.
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    That is very interesting. It's a mystery of whether autism drastically increased over the past century or if it always existed and was misclassified as something else. If autism is really a new phenomenon, then changes in healthcare could be the culprit. The whole blaming vaccinations thing failed. I'm assuming that induced labor is a relatively new thing...maybe only a century or two old. I'm assuming that if the woman didn't go into labor on time, then the child just eventually died. Being able to induce labor, as the article stated, could correlate with autism for a few reasons:

    Children with genetic and/or neurophysiological abnormalities are now being born when they wouldn't have been born in the past. This possibly connects with delayed delivery being a symptom and not a cause of autism.
    Staying in the womb longer causes neurophysiological abnormalities, and these children wouldn't have been born in the past. This possibly connects with the environment of the womb causing autism and delayed delivery. The delayed delivery may not directly cause autism.
    The drugs used to induce labor could cause autism.


    I'm not autistic, but they had to induce labor on my mother when she had me. I am introverted and possibly have ADHD. My teachers complained about me day dreaming and disrupting students after I finished my work (usually finished much more quickly than everyone else), but I was never screened for anything. I still have trouble with focusing and procrastination. I'm also extremely disorganized.

    Edit: After doing a little research, I found that current methods of inducing labor have only been around since the 1960s.
    Last edited by sanantone; 08-14-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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    As a side note, I think that the testing out method is perfect for ADHDers.

    Today I am studying for a history exam - hey, look, over there is a management book!
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    If something related to a child differs from the norm, every parent questions every possible cause, and our family is no different. I will spare the details, but both my son and I nearly did not make it through his birthday, and he was late (reason for induction). Looking at it from an objective view, the point that medical intervention may allow births that might not have otherwise naturally been is not an off-the-wall assumption in my mind (again, framed with just my personal experiences and anecdotal conversations with other parents of Spectrum kids). It is normal to question the connections and draw personal conclusions, but such a large pool of data as detailed in this study shows a connection that now has real merit in providing real answers.

    During our son's diagnosis, his developmental pediatrician pointed something out that has always stuck in my mind. He said nearly every one of us could fall somewhere on the Spectrum due to the range and scale of it, so professionals studied in the diagnoses of such conditions have scales to differentiate, and more general practitioners often miss the proper markers because it takes quite a bit of review to note those differences. He said many children diagnosed with Autism are actually ADHD (similar but slightly different treatments required) or other developmental conditions, and vice versa where some ADHD diagnoses or other conditions would be better-diagnosed Autism. He said many people never diagnosed likely would qualify by current measures. This helped us considerably get through an issue at our son's public school prior to withdrawal where teachers were pushing us to get him placed on ADHD medications, and our doctor and we responded that there are no pills to treat Autism. The symptoms of many of these conditions overlap quite a bit.

    Now that my son is on the planet, healthy and strong, he has his challenges (what kid doesn't?) but we have never viewed that as a disease or drawback, no matter how his previous teachers or peers might see his sometimes "unusual" (for them) behavior. My husband and I have always been of the school of thought that Autism is not new, but years ago, society just assumed a child was "slow" or bad due to their behaviors unless the exhibited behaviors were severe, and increased disgnoses originate from increased awareness. Increased awareness also made for bettle handling so these kiddos can be taught to function (not "cured" or assimilated) in the everyday, "normal" world. We've debated if Autism is not an evolutionary deviation that just has not yet fully developed; Autistic children typically have increased - thought different - brain activity and connections, and Savant Syndrome is also a step of that ladder. We try to teach our boy not to let his differences be a cause of embarrassment, because he might have his differences or weaknesses (again, who doesn't?) but his strengths are off the charts. I said all that to say, we are interested in learning causation because not every child is high-function as he is, with very strong chances of someday integrating into and being a strong contributor in "normal" society, but I've got mixed feelings on making sweeping changes. Just the other day, I was watching him stare with wonder at a butterfly, having a conversation with it as if it were talking back, and thinking I would give anything to spend a day in his cheery, bright little world. That's not something that needs to be fixed; his innocence and almost constant happiness is something I've often thought should be spread around more.
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    Some believe that ADHD is an evolutionary advantage. ADHD, while it can cause relationship issues, is mostly an issue in the confines of modern society such as the classroom and office jobs.
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    My step brother has adhd and he cant sit still so he runs a bar, djs, plays ice hockey, works out, goes for runs, and shoots his mouth off. He is very happy with his life and thinks adhd is cool. I agree.
    I have the opposite of adhd. I can and require solitude and intense times of focus. I do not like to be disturbed during these focus times. When I have accomplished what I intended to do, I break out of the trance and rejoin the world. If someone tried to "fix" me with drugs I would probably not be as successful as I am.
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    While I saw the headlines about the possible induction/autism connection, I didn't read them. When there was lots of talk of vaccine/autism connections, I thought that I read something showing that the number of folks with autism was not significantly lower in the age group that came before wide-spread vaccinations. If inducing labor is a more recent "advancement," I wonder if they've compared the number of folks with autism to those born before inducing labor was as prevalent as it is now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryoder View Post
    My step brother has adhd and he cant sit still so he runs a bar, djs, plays ice hockey, works out, goes for runs, and shoots his mouth off. He is very happy with his life and thinks adhd is cool. I agree.
    I have the opposite of adhd. I can and require solitude and intense times of focus. I do not like to be disturbed during these focus times. When I have accomplished what I intended to do, I break out of the trance and rejoin the world. If someone tried to "fix" me with drugs I would probably not be as successful as I am.
    People with ADHD don't always jump around to different things. They also have a tendency to hyperfocus.

    What you might not know about ADHD is that there's another side: the tendency for children and adults with attention deficit disorder to focus very intently on things that do interest them. At times, the focus is so strong that they become oblivious to the world around them.
    About ADHD: Hyperfocus | ADDitude - Attention Deficit Information & Resources

    "People who think ADD means having a short attention span misunderstand what ADD is," says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., a psychologist in Silver Spring, Maryland, and the author of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. "A better way to look at it is that people with ADD have a disregulated attention system."
    That's a much better way of putting it. I could spend hours researching online degrees or something that I'm looking to purchase, but have trouble focusing on schoolwork. Sometimes I can spend so much time doing something trivial such as making music, that important things go undone.
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    I have two children with learning disabilities, both have been diagnosed as ADHD. I do see my daughter as ADHD but she has other problems that I see as more emotional or social. I never thought of her as Autistic (girls seem to have a lower incidence) but now that I think of it she could be on that spectrum. My son on the other hand has many social emotional and learning difficulties, distractiblity and some motor control issues. We have been told he does not have Asburgers, autism or fragile X but I wonder. Both of these children were born 1-2 weeks early no inducing needed. My other son was placenta previa and tried to come 2 months early. They gave me all kinds of steroids and other things to help he mature quicker and delay delivery, he ended up coming just one month early by C-section. He may have some ADHD but no learning problems.

    On the other hand in working with children I have run into a girl who was probably one of the most severe cases of autism I have seen; a boy and girl twin where the boy was diagnosed as Autistic but he was very smart his sister was smart(but maybe not as much) and not autistic; and two brothers about 2 years apart in age and both have diagnoses of Autism they are severely affected. I also know several children who have been delivered after induction and show no symptoms that I would call autistic.

    I feel this study does not show enough information about other factors that could affect these children and how many children with the same factors end up not having Autism. I really wish we could find a more definitive cause for Autism. mrs.b you are very lucky your son is cheery and bright and the love and acceptance he gets at home probably helps. Some of the children I have worked with seem to spend a lot of time angry and/or frustrated sometimes I wish I could get into their heads and find out how we could make life better for them.

    I also believe Autism has been around for a long time maybe not as common as it is today. In the earlier days we would label these children as retarded, deaf and dumb or as said above they may not have made it to birth. As science and medicine progresses hopefully something will be available to help these children. No ryoder we are not trying to "fix" these kids most of us just want to make it so these children can reach their highest potential despite there challenges. I am speaking of children with ADHD as well as Autism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindagerr View Post
    No ryoder we are not trying to "fix" these kids most of us just want to make it so these children can reach their highest potential despite there challenges. I am speaking of children with ADHD as well as Autism.
    This, 100%. There is no "fix." I have not seen studies on ADHD neurology, but Autistics tend to have different neural connections and functionality. You can teach work-arounds and adaptations to function in everyday society, but they will always be who they are; the goal is to help them appreciate who they are and find and utilize their strengths (that's the goal with any child but the gap between strength and weakness just tends to be a bit wider with these kiddos). It's like years ago, when teachers used to tell left-handed students they wrote incorrectly, and trained them to write right-handed. A person can learn to be ambidextrous, but it does not entirely change which side of the brain is dominant.

    Many people with disabilities can learn to function in everyday society and be quite happy, while others with the same diagnosis will not. That difference may stem from upbringing, or it may more likely stem from different impacts of the disorder. Autism is a Spectrum disorder, where an Autistic on one end of the Spectrum will look, behave, and interact dramatically different from an individual on the other end of the Spectrum. My son would technically be Aspergers if they still diagnosed it, but the diagnoses were changed a year or two ago. He has idiosyncrasies, but he's taught to be proud of who he is; many people struggle in social situations, subjects, or when things do not happen according to plans and expectations. He also misbehaves like any kid and gets punished for it, but we can usually tell the difference between not doing something because he decided he did not like what he was told, and not doing something because he is having an difficult day and having a hard time focusing.

    We adapt to him and bend the world around him, and he's learning to adapt to the world. In time, I think his happy innocent world will meet in the middle with the everyday one, and he'll do just fine. Not every ASD kiddo has the same prospects, though, so knowing the cause(s), and where possible and safe, finding alternatives seems well worth the time to investigate. Induced labor is usually done to avert immediate life/death scenarios for mom, baby, or both, though, so until there is definitive proof of cause-effect, I do not see it going the way of the panic-driven vaccination hysteria where repercussions seemed a distant risk to scared parents.
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