Skip to main content

Younger Sibs of Kids with Autism or ADHD May Be At Higher Risk

Emerging research suggests later-born siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are at elevated risk for both disorders. The University of California, Davis, study suggests that families who already have a child diagnosed with ASD or ADHD may wish to monitor younger siblings for symptoms of both conditions.

The study, led by Dr. Meghan Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the UC Davis MIND Institute, appears in JAMA Pediatrics.

Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty focusing, nonstop talking or blurting things out, increased activity, and trouble sitting still.

Symptoms of ASD include significant challenges with social interaction and communication, as well as the presence of unusual interests or repetitive behaviors like hand flapping or lining up objects.

“We’ve known for a long time that younger siblings of children with autism are at higher-than-average risk for autism, but the field didn’t have adequate data to tell whether they were at increased risk for ADHD,” said Miller.

“Despite the fact that autism and ADHD appear very different in their descriptions, this work highlights the overlapping risk; younger siblings of children with ASD are at elevated risk of both ADHD and autism, and younger siblings of children with ADHD are at elevated risk not only for ADHD, but also for autism.”

Miller’s research team looked at medical records of 730 later-born siblings of children with ADHD, 158 later-born siblings of children with ASD, and 14,287 later-born siblings of children with no known diagnosis. Only families who had at least one younger child after a diagnosed child were included in the study.

“Evaluating recurrence risk in samples that include only families who have had an additional child after a diagnosed child is important because recurrence may be underestimated if researchers include families who decided to stop having children after a child was diagnosed with ASD or ADHD,” explained Miller.

In the study, investigators discovered the odds of an ASD diagnosis were 30 times higher in later-born siblings of children with ASD. It was 3.7 times higher for a diagnosis of ADHD, as compared to later-born siblings of children not diagnosed with ASD.

Among later born siblings of children with ADHD, the odds an ADHD diagnosis were 13 times higher in later-born siblings of children. The odds of an ASD diagnosis were 4.4 times higher, as compared to later-born siblings not diagnosed with ADHD.

ADHD and ASD are believed to share some genetic risk factors and biological influences. This study supports the conclusion that ASD and ADHD are highly heritable and may share underlying causes and genetics.

Researchers believe the development of reliable recurrence risk estimates of diagnoses within the same disorder and across other disorders can aid screening and early-detection efforts. Moreover, the linkage can enhance understanding of potential shared causes of the disorders. The ability to diagnose ASD and ADHD early could improve both treatment and quality of life.

“There are reliable screening measures and practices for the diagnosis of autism in very young children,” Miller said.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any clinical standards or adequate tools for screening for ADHD at such young ages. We are currently working on identifying early markers of autism and ADHD in infants and toddlers who have an older diagnosed sibling, since these younger siblings are at elevated risk for ASD and ADHD.”

Source: UC, Davis

from Psych Central News

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.


Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy. A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.” In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site. Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company. “Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote. The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology . In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D. Re

Today’s Popular Music is More Angry, Sad and Less Joyful

Today’s popular music is noticeably different from the popular songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Now a new study reveals that it’s not just the music itself that is different; today’s music consumers seem to prefer songs that express darker emotions in both lyric and tone. The findings, published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies , show that the expression of anger and sadness in popular music has increased gradually over time, while the expression of joy has declined. Using quantitative analytics, researchers from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan studied changes in popular music lyrics throughout the last seven decades, from the 1950s to 2016. Data scientists Kathleen Napier and Dr. Lior Shamir analyzed the lyrics of more than 6,000 songs found on the Billboard Hot 100, a list of the most popular songs of each year. In the past, songs were ranked primarily by record sales, radio broadcasting, and jukebox plays, but in more recent years, popularity is based on several

I Pretend that Fictional Characters Are Real & Talk to Myself as Them

I’ve always loved to play pretend. But now that I’m a teenager, instead of outgrowing it, it’s gotten worse. Now I’ve gotten to the point where it’s an obsession, and I spend more time with my imaginary friends then with real people. I pretend that my favorite characters from movies and TV shows are real, and I talk to myself, both as myself and the character. I have long discussions with myself. I also pretend that they are with me everywhere I go–to the supermarket, to my cousin’s house. I pretend that they’re with me, no matter what I do. Lately, I’ve also been doing something that’s hard to explain: I pretend to be two people (usually myself and my mother, or a cousin, or a made-up person) and have a pretend to have a conversation with them. I pretend that the fiction character is watching me and my mother/cousin/other. Usually, those scenarios involve either a verbal fight, or joking. I’m really concerned because I know this is abnormal and I’m not living a normal life. I’m worri