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Autism linked to induced or augmented labor, study says
August 12th, 2013
04:01 PM ET

Autism linked to induced or augmented labor, study says

As scientists struggle to understand the causes of autism, a potential new pattern has emerged: The condition is associated with induced or augmented labor, according to a new study.

Induction means stimulating contractions before spontaneous labor begins. Augmentation means helping contractions become stronger, longer or more frequent. Both of these methods of expediting deliveries have helped mothers who have health conditions that could be detrimental to them or their child.

The researchers did not prove that these treatments cause autism. Women should not read the new study, which is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, and decide against expediting labor on that basis, said Simon Gregory, researcher at Duke University Medical Center and lead author of the study.

"It’s a decision between them and their healthcare provider," Gregory said, but the data do not "outweigh the risks that would come with just not wanting to be induced or augmented at all, because then you’re the placing the mother and the infant’s life at risk."

Background

Autism spectrum disorders are developmental conditions characterized by social, communication and behavioral difficulties.

About 1 in 88 children has a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder, according to the latest estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although there is evidence that genetics plays a role, environmental factors may also be at play in altering normal development. A recent study of twins found that susceptibility to autism can increase in prenatal and early postnatal environments.

Methods

The study looked at more than 625,000 records of children's birth and education from North Carolina. Researchers obtained information on the demographics of both parents, the mother's medical history age at pregnancy, and infant health.

Although this is a large sample size, study authors could not control for every variable that might have influenced the results. They did not have information about paternal age, for example, or what medications the mothers were taking. Researchers also did not obtain data about where on the autism spectrum the children fall in this study.

Results

Researchers found a strong link between treatments to expedite labor and males who had autism; for females, less so.

Male infants born in deliveries in which labor was both induced and augmented were 35% more likely to have autism than those whose mother did not have either of these treatments. For induction alone, risk was elevated 18%. For augmentation alone, risk went up 15%.

The risk to females was not significantly elevated when labor was both induced and augmented, or induced alone. The likelihood of autism went up with augmentation alone, 21%.

"The risk is modest but significant, particularly considering that this is a potential risk factor many pregnant women may be exposed to during labor," according to a statement from Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and advocacy organization.

The gender gap seen in the study is intriguing to scientists, Gregory said, because autism is more common in males in general - in fact, nearly five times as many boys than girls have autism spectrum disorders.

What it means, however, is unclear.

Researchers also found support for other autism risk factors that previous studies have established. Older maternal age raised the risk 30%, being first born increased risk 21%, and having a mother with gestational diabetes upped the risk by 24%.

They did not find any increased risk for children born in Cesarean sections compared to vaginal births.

Implications 

This data does not demonstrate that induced or augmented labor causes autism. It only shows an association; scientists do not yet know what explains the connection.

Gregory said there could be a number of underlying factors that this study did not directly address, including the health of the mother, drugs used to induce or augment birth, fetal stress, or other medications that the mother is taking. The act of inducing or augmenting may be to blame, but alternatively the medical and obstetric conditions around those treatments could have something to do with it, or even some other events that commonly occur to women whose labor is expedited. At this stage, no one knows.

But researchers say the underlying mechanism is worth looking into, given that expedited labor isn't rare. About 23% of births in the United States in 2008 were induced, and 17% were augmented in 2002, Gregory said.

"This is the largest study to date demonstrating an association between induced or augmented childbirth and autism, and the next step is for research to better understand the possible mechanisms behind this relationship," according to a statement from Autism Speaks.

Gregory and colleagues want to go back to these medical records and dig deeper, but also study other mothers and children going forward to see if they can figure out why they're at increased risk.

More: Prenatal exposure to pollution raises risk of autism in kids

CNN's John Bonifield contributed to this report 


soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. carol

    I agree to not read things and make decisions without consulting your doctor first.

    August 12, 2013 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      Your doctor doesn't know anything more about drug side effects than what you can find in a quick google search. Often, he knows less. They're taught to diagnose illnesses. Pharmacology is not their specialty.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • Rio

      Robert, are you still mad about not making it to medical school?

      August 12, 2013 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
    • troop60218

      I agree with Robert – doctors often just write prescriptions for the "pill of the day" – whatever drug a rep told them about last – without really knowing the side effects. I had a doctor give me a prescription for an antibiotic that had a "do not use" warning for people with heart conditions. Guess what I had? That's right... a heart condition. Good thing the pharmacist DID know his drugs and good thing I asked for a consult before leaving the store.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • Joe Mauro

      Just as long as its not the same doctor that gives you any drug you want or provides vacinations for your children,The fda takes all types of bribes from drug companies to lie about this issue anything to hide the truth from the public and make money at the same time.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • Wee Small Pharma

      An amazing amount of medical expertise on display.

      From people who didn't even graduate high school.

      August 13, 2013 at 01:47 | Report abuse |
    • Diane Fnerguson Ross

      my daughter was induced and she is autisitc. why do they have to do this any way. my doctor was going on vacation

      August 13, 2013 at 02:20 | Report abuse |
    • zerohour

      I agree with Robert. The fact is, a quick look over drugs.com can tell you, for any medication, whether or not your doctor is prescribing you something safe, or something(s) safe. Yes, you often can find out more than the doctor knows with a quick query on drugs.com. One site – not even google searching... The sad truth is, doctors are taken 100% at their word, yet they are held to no standards and commit malpractice all the time. Now we're saying, through doctors' lobby, that we need to severely limit malpractice suits.. This says one thing: you cannot trust doctors anymore. For one, they don't care what they are prescribing to you, for two, they are the worst in the developed world (and that is a fact), and for three, we're going to not penalize them for doing things wrong... See where the medical field is headed? I hope you never get a life-threatening illness....

      August 13, 2013 at 02:52 | Report abuse |
    • VladT

      Gosh, inser the word "doctors" with a certain race, and you'd call us all prejudicial racists. But naw, all doctors are alike, right? One bad experience, or what we read on our "anti-Pharma" blogs in our mother's basements, tells us what the medical community is really like.

      Well, next time you have bacterial pneumonia, stay away from antibiotics and doctors...please. Thin the herd. Instead, cut off a snake's head, squeeze the venom out, and mix it with beet root. That will cure anything.....

      August 13, 2013 at 07:44 | Report abuse |
  2. cali girl

    What will the no vaccinations people do now?

    August 12, 2013 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas

      They will watch their kids get sick and possibly die from extremely preventable diseases.....and then they'll blame Big Pharma.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • biggerdawg

      Bfore exposing your self as the incompetent boob you are, try reading the article. Or perhaps your comprehension skills are below normal. In any event, there are enough "maybes" and "could suggest"s in this article that your sad attempt at sarcasm was not needed as there was no real conclusive evidence to the authours claim.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:03 | Report abuse |
    • fish8

      Die, what else? But you know, this time without taking the sick, young, and elderly with them.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • earthshoes44

      Probably go on as they have before, with their extremely healthy kids who get childhood diseases about as often as the vaccinated portion of the population (some studies say less, interestingly enough). It is not like the diseases are just hanging around waiting for an unvaccinated child to walk by. Nor are unvaccinated children carrying the diseases around in them like time bombs.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Tell that to all the children that have died from whopping cough. Washington state has some of the lowest vaccination rates against whopping cough and the largest number of cases and deaths.

      August 13, 2013 at 01:23 | Report abuse |
    • Wee Small Pharma

      Shame on you, Ryan.

      Bringing facts to the argument is not sporting.

      Not sporting at all.

      August 13, 2013 at 01:49 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      They'll ignore facts and continue to bleat.

      August 13, 2013 at 03:24 | Report abuse |
    • tx1

      they will continue to be skeptical about medicines that haven't been fully tested. Do you know how many times an article like that has been written about different drugs that doctors previously believed and assured to millions of people that it was perfectly safe?

      August 13, 2013 at 03:25 | Report abuse |
  3. a mom

    Just my experience but I had labor induced 4 times. My four kids are perfect (ie not autistic, they do, in fact, have flaws). I think this is a big leap. But, who knows. I do know I would be very unhappy, ten year later, if my 10 year old was still in there because they did not induce.

    August 12, 2013 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yacon

      The study did not show that all pregnancies with induced labor yield children with autism, just that autistic outcomes are a little more likely than for the broader population. Most such deliveries are still normal.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:28 | Report abuse |
    • lxNay

      your experience does not make the research invalid. I always wonder why people say things like this. I smoke all my life, and I didn't get lung cancer. I had induced births, and my kids are fine. Research findings are about populations and patterns, rarely individuals.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Your sample of 4 siblings is way too small to allow any inferences, not to mention the issue of genetics when you are dealing with siblings.

      It is an intriguing finding. I wonder about different ways of inducing labor – such as simply a tear in the sac vs the use of drugs, the actual gestation period, etc. And as they point out in the article, sometimes labor is induced because of fetal distress, which might be a causative factor as well. Or age of mother – is there a correlation between age of mother and likelihood of inducing labor? or whether is is a first pregnancy? so lots of variables that still need examination. I did see that there is preliminary evidence that children whose fathers were over 35 had a higher probability of autism – while that is again just a correlation, not a causative factor, a possible explanation was that sperm in older men may be more prone to genetic abnormality because of the number of times sperm cells reproduced (unlike eggs, which are a fixed number in the ovary( and that each reproduction opens op a chance of a genetic mutation. So if older mothers are more likely to have an induced labor (a testable hypothesis), perhaps the father is also more likely to be older. There was also a study that found a placenta that had a fold in it was associated with a higher rate of autism. Again, no causative explanation, just a correlation. But each piece gives us a little more information...remembering that the probability of autism is sitll quite low.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      That was quite funny. had to read a few times before I got the last sentence!

      August 12, 2013 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
    • bryanska

      Mom can I come out now? Not yet honey, it might make you autistic. Meet a nice girl first.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      A 35% increase would mean that 1.35 in 88 births would have some degree of autism, rather than 1 in 88. So the vast majority of births will be unaffected.

      Anecdotal evidence is rarely given any credence in scientific research. There was a guy who jumped out of a plane with a parachute and an emergency chute. Both failed and he died on impact. This one other guy fell out of a plane without any parachute and suffered only minor injuries. Based only on those two instances, it is safer to leave your parachute behind. In fact, statistics show that a parachute dramatically reduces you chance of death and injury in a 10,000 ft free fall. As does staying inside the perfectly good plane.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      I'm thankful to all the moms posting about their induced/enhanced deliveries resulting in non-autistic children. Not becauuse of any weight it bears on the study, but because once again, it comforts those of us with children on the spectrum that it isn't something we did to them.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • fish8

      Correlation, not causation. Please google and read.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • tx1

      they all come out eventually, just possibly not at a convenient time for your doctor, who has a tee time later.

      August 13, 2013 at 03:27 | Report abuse |
    • kunzangdrolma

      You are implying kids with autism are not perfect.....

      August 13, 2013 at 08:31 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      I had natural child birth and my son has Asperger's syndrome.

      August 13, 2013 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    Ah, yes, the old "correlation" issue. Of course, the population of women who receives augmented or induced labor has an enriched rate of health problems. That's why they are inducing to begin with! So the correlation to autism could be the result of the underlying causes of induced or augmented labor. I wonder if they have made the necessary statistical corrections to account for that?

    August 12, 2013 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lxNay

      I am sure this team of scientists, who published their findings in the prestigious magazine JAMA, did not think about silly things like that.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      I wondered that, also. Maybe the inductions/augmentations are just symptoms of the underlying cause.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • fish8

      Yes, but small correlations like this are what narrows down the search to finding a cause or the numerous causes. What led you to this condescending remark? This study. Now the next group of researchers can take these results and see what sort of disabilities and diseases whatnot are linked to autism.

      I assume you fools know more about research and autism than these doctors and can get your sorry asses off of CNN and start contributing to the science.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • iRex

      Of course correlation doesn't always equate to causation, but its a starting off point for looking for causation when only the end result is known. This is why many published studies are about data the require further study.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – so what? ANY strong correlation is worth looking into here.

      August 13, 2013 at 03:26 | Report abuse |
  5. mom of autistic boy 10 yrs old

    I have a son with autism and I was induced. I am very healthy and not over weight. I think the doctor decided to induce for her own schedule. She said she works at the hospital on Wed so to come in then. I was stupid and did not ask enough questions! I don't know if this is a cause or just another toxin that added to the others and overloaded my son. He cannot rid his body of all the toxins and heavy metals on his own without help. I think there are many layers that add up to autism...

    August 12, 2013 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allie

      While I am certainly sad to hear of your son's autism, the medication used to induce labor is not a toxin. It is oxytocin, which is the same hormone your own body makes when you go into labor without assistance.

      August 12, 2013 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
    • bryanska

      "He cannot rid his body of all the toxins and heavy metals on his own without help."

      Careful there. That's not an accepted conclusion with enough research behind it. The jury is still out on autism, and unless you have very specific heavy metals and toxins in mind, you really can't say that.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      It may well be that babies with autism are more likely to need the assistance of medications for labor. There is only a correlation, not a cause and effect at this point.

      There has also been some published research that the root cause of autism exists months before birth, but are not seen until later.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • asdhj

      30-40% is a HUGE number. Most of the time they induce to so the doctors can go home on time....

      August 12, 2013 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
    • realscience

      Please don't listen to pseudoscientific fear-mongering naturalists exploiting your pain to push their agenda on you. There is absolutely nothing to support any of those claims.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
    • fish8

      There are many stories of pain and suffering borne by people and their children as a result of naturalist quackery.

      August 12, 2013 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
    • fawefawef

      No one who uses the word "toxins" has any credibility. It's a red flag and a sign of ignorance.

      August 12, 2013 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Try Dr.Kendal Stuart, Austin, TX. He has done wonders for our daughter who is also Autistic. Now he talks and mainstreamed school. She started talking two weeks after seeing him. I'm an engineer and as scepticle as they come, the proof is in the pudding.
      I do think too many vaccines are given at the same time and this overwhelms their little bodies. Better to spread them out, no need to give them so many together. Except the insurance companies would not like it.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:41 | Report abuse |
  6. Parent

    Having a son with autism, I do Believe that the cause of Autism is multi-factoral. I must admit my labor with my older son with Autism was induced. My son is now 21 and he is just such an amazing person. It no longer matters to me the cause, but I certainly can empathize with parents who question what happened. I used to question this myself. I think it is difficult for parents who don't have children with a disability to understand. The numbers are growing.... This is why Scientist are struggling to find out the cause

    August 12, 2013 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Parent

    Oh and by the way... I am extremely healthy woman... Had my son at 20 years of age... Now 40 and in perfect health... Run 5 miles several times a week... He was induced has Autism and was done so because he was a little over a week late... Ended up being 8lbs 3 oz... Could have stayed in there a little longer... Most of the mothers I know with children who have Autism are in fabulous shape

    August 12, 2013 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wee Small Pharma

      Maybe your health-nut behavior caused his autism.

      August 13, 2013 at 02:00 | Report abuse |
  8. denise

    Two of my pregnancies were induced and neither one has autism.

    August 12, 2013 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cw

      Ok, and that has what to do with this?

      August 12, 2013 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      So what?

      August 13, 2013 at 03:28 | Report abuse |
  9. Earl Whipshaw

    People, just because your births were induced and your kids don't have autism doesn't make the study flawed. It means that your child is at a higher risk for having autism based on this one correlating factor. And, this is precisely the kind of study that you can't really compare to your own anecdotal data, so when you say "my birth was induced and my kid is fine," that doesn't really stand up to 625,000 records.

    And, regarding the vaccine thing, a similar study on this scale found no correlation. This found a very statistically significant correlation. That in and of itself is a huge deal.

    August 12, 2013 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rudacob

    When in doubt, blame the mother.

    August 12, 2013 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      This is no more blaming the mother than pointing out the fact that ASD is more common in males is blaming the father.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • Mario

      I usually blame Canada

      August 12, 2013 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
  11. Another parent

    My situation is almost the opposite – I have a 20 year old with autism, however I went into premature labor at 31 weeks and was put on bedrest and medication to STOP the contractions. I have often wondered if that medication contributed to his autism.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Moggy

    This doesn't hold water. The type of delivery a woman has really should have no bearing. However, their may be a link to the age of the father and/or mother. Do older couples induce or augment earlier than younger couples or vice-versa?

    August 12, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael

      What proof do you have that it doesn't?
      Augmented causing stronger contractions causing more fetal stress (squishing the baby's head)?
      Induced to be premature due to doctor's schedule?
      Or, there is a correlation because the baby already has a genetic pre-disposition such as being late, so induced when the baby's head is larger, causing more fetal stress. Head size also explains why it affects boys more than girls.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
    • cls

      Of course the type of labor has an impact. Have you been reading any research in this area over the last decade? Clearly it matters.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • waheid

      " The type of delivery a woman has really should have no bearing." Unless you have some impressive credentials pertinent to the discussion, suggest you consider Lincoln's advice that it's better to keep silent and be thought a fool than speak out and prove it.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • i12bphil

      Michael, cls and waheid, before you berate someone with righteous indignation, please explain to me how you can be justified in your stance when my wife had no such induced procedure and had a child born at the far end of the spectrum? This condition is barely understood by any sense of the imagination, so before you go into condescending mode, perhaps you should remember how little is known before you open your ignorant yap.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:00 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      So, a strong correlation is found, yet you claim it doesn't "hold water".

      Based on what actual evidence?

      August 13, 2013 at 03:29 | Report abuse |
    • tx1

      Well in one case the baby comes out with no drugs. In the other case, the mother is given strong drugs which effectively paralyze her from the waist down, and then is given more drugs which dramatically affect the intensity of the contractions which are (theoretically) supposed to help push the baby out. A tiny (typically) 5-9lb infant is connected to his mother and getting food and oxygen from the mother's blood via the umbilical cord.

      So, tell me again why would it not matter if the mother is drugged up?

      August 13, 2013 at 04:05 | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    Maybe women that naturally create more of the hormone that are mimicked to induce labor naturally have more kids with autism.

    Maybe they are more prone to it. Then they are induced and then it damages the nerve pathways in the baby's brain.

    On the other hand maybe non-induced autistic children are born to mothers that really create a lot more of the hormone. Which is a rare disorder in itself maybe.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. D.

      Interesting thoughts Steve. Oxytocin is the hormone other commenters were referring to and in medication form it is called Pitocin. Of note, research indicates that oxytocin is released when a mother goes into labor and this process turns off signaling of GABA neurons in the fetal brain, which ultimately reduces the likelihood of the baby experiencing hypoxia (Tyzio et al., 2011). Thus, more oxytocin seems to be a good thing.

      However, less oxytocin is a bad thing, which results in a mother needing to be induced. So what if the mother is induced with Pitocin? Does it cross the blood-brain barrier in the same way to turn off GABA signaling and protect against hypoxia? I am not an expert in this literature, but it seems that at this point it is unclear. If it didn't effect GABA this could be the mechanism by which induced pregnancies are associated with autism. Hypoxia at birth has been associated with autism spectrum disorders (Burstyn et al., 2011).

      August 12, 2013 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Doubly interesting that oxytocin has been associated, in males and females, with promotion of social behavior and social bonding, which are most seriously disrupted in autism. May exposure to the exogenous form disrupts the brain/body's own developing system. Or maybe mothers who lack a fully functional oxytocin system pass it on (genetically or environmentally) to teh fetus...

      August 13, 2013 at 00:21 | Report abuse |
  14. sj4iy

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    However, I do believe that many doctors are now augmenting labor that is progressing naturally in order to speed up delivery unnecessarily. That happened with my first pregnancy, and it led to a whole host of medical problems...for me, some of which still affect me to this day. My second pregnancy I put my foot down when the nurse insisted on putting me on pitocin against my will. I said "I don't have anything better to do, do you?" and she left and I got a better nurse. He was born after 12 hours of easy labor with no complications and a very quick recovery.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dorothy

    I believe it. I had a healthy pregancy, but they iduced labor even though I wasn't past due. I begged them to stop giving me the medicine. My son has Aspb.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • waheid

      A wise old nurse once told me that if more patients would argue with their physician, more people would live longer. I suspect the same applies here. Sometimes it might be better to let nature take its course even if it does not agree with our schedule or the doctor's.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      But you had to agree with them doing it. Just say no- they can't force you! I was a bit over a week past due, and my baby wasn't moving enough, so I agreed to be induced. They gave me options along the way. When they started cranking up Pitocin, I told them to not raise it any more, and they didn't. Them going against what you say is malpractice! You have to stand up for yourself, or have someone doing so (I had hubby watching the Pitocin pump numbers) and also a doula. I'm sad for you that your child ended up with the problem.

      August 12, 2013 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Pure rubbish. Doctors don't do things against their patient's will. If you "begged them to stop," they stopped; they wouldn't even have started in the first place without carefully explaining what they were doing, and getting your permission to proceed.

      August 13, 2013 at 03:31 | Report abuse |
    • AbbyJ

      First, I want to say I'm not targeting or blaming you, I'm writing this comment for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive:

      YOU CAN SAY NO! No to being induced. No to the epidural and painkillers. They cannot force these things on you without your consent.

      I have a 1-year old; he was born 6 days "late" and naturally. I found even doctors in the same clinic will try to push different things.
      The doctor I considered my "main" doctor, and luckily the one who was on-call so he delivered my baby, was very much in favor of waiting for labor to happen on it's own, and very supportive of natural childbirth.
      Yet another doctor was already talking to me about scheduling induction for the day-of or day-after my due date almost a month before! There was ZERO reason to even talk about scheduling induction: I had a healthy, easy pregnancy; and a quick and easy natural delivery. The only reason the 2nd doctor had was "well, it's your due date!".

      Again, I will stress: THE DOCTORS WORK FOR YOU! Yes, they are experts, consider their advice, but they cannot force you to do anything. If they want to do things you don't want, for the reason of "convenience", and not because it's medically necessary, don't be afraid to disagree with them! Don't let them bully you into something you don't want.

      August 14, 2013 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
  16. Robert

    It's very possible that there's a link. It's also possible that autism is just associated with mothers who don't have normal healthy pregnancies–if a mother has one health problem, it increases the likelihood of others.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Ts

    I think that there is more of a link between the drugs that stop pre-term labor and autism. I know two mothers who had to take these drugs and both kids have autism. They should look at what drugs the mothers were taking before birth.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. cls

    Just another indication that pretty much any kind of prenatal stress on mother and baby is linked to autism. It seems entirely consistent with other data, and something that should be considered before opting for induction, or labor augmentation. I wonder why there are so many folks ready to say how this can't be the case, or point out what most of us and certainly the researchers know that correlation is not causation. This is a one study in a large body or work, there are many things to think about before you choose to induce. Use the information. Given other research in the field it would have been a bit startling if a correlation had not been found. Now if we can find a way to tweak this with a post partum treatment.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Georgine

    Why screwing with nature? As long as we don't understand how exactly the human body works, we should try to let things happen naturally.

    August 12, 2013 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wee Small Pharma

      50% child mortality is "natural."

      No need to mess with it.

      August 13, 2013 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      We're screwing with nature because nature, left to its own devices, winds up killing babies with gruesome regularity, and quite often manages to kill the mothers as well.

      August 13, 2013 at 03:33 | Report abuse |
    • tx1

      Well, if you want to reduce infant mortality rates, that's even more reason to question the standard operating procedure of the birthing industry in the US. The infant mortality rate is higher in the US than almost every other industrialized nation, and even some like Cypress, Croatia, and Cuba.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

      It is a false choice to say that if you don't want to have interventions and inducements, that you are going back to the stone ages. Other countries have shown that there are better ways of doing it to get better results, but US rarely listens. OBGYNs are surgeons trained to perform surgeries, so that's what they do.

      August 13, 2013 at 04:33 | Report abuse |
  20. Georgine

    I am sure that a medication that is strong enough to cause premature birth is strong enough to damage the fragile baby and its mother.

    August 12, 2013 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Annie

    I have been wondering for a long time if anyone has looked at the correlation between the rise in autism and the "back to sleep" campaign. I am amazed at the number of children, (especially boys), who have severe flat heads. I am an educator and I have observed that my children identified as being "on the spectrum" often have flat heads. Just something that sits in the back of my mind.

    August 12, 2013 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Ellie

    Oh. My. God. I had all of the risk factors listed – older age, firstborn child and gestational diabetes. No wonder my son has autism.

    If I only knew about this, I would have insisted on immediate C-section, instead of going through 15 hours of induced/augmented labor, and ending up on the operating table anyway.

    My younger son was born 2 years later via planned C-section, without the induced labor, and he is just fine.

    August 12, 2013 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Speckled

      Please because of this article don't feel bad about your induction. I don't think a c section would have changed anything. This study is leaving out so many factors! My first son has autism and was induced, my second son was a c section and he has autism. There are just so many things they say cause autism nowadays really they don't know for sure these are just ideas they are throwing out there. There are so many other factors involved in induction they don't mention that might instead be the cause. Many older women have first born children and gestational diabetes and don't have children with autism. I think one of the reasons they say firstborn children are more likely to have it because a lot of couples stop having children if their first has autism and so of course the stats would show more firstborn have it. I hope one day they do find a real proven cause but for now just remember these are all just guesses.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
  23. Dorothy Albrecht

    My son, 23 yrs old, is my middle child. He has Aspergers/Autism and will NEVER live on his own. I was induced. I was 10 days late, my water broke but they determined that it did not. The next day I went to the doctor and insisted that my water did break. They tested the fluid again and panicked when it tested positive. I was immediately induced. After a few hours, my labor was not progressing, they upped the petocin. My labor was horrible. Contractions, one on top of the other for hours.
    His older sister and younger brother were not induced and are fine. I'm so sad tonight. Sad that I do not know how to help my sweet, smart son become a flourishing adult. Drugs are bad! All drugs have side effects. Lipitor killed my father by destroying his liver and now this. Be careful people, be very cautious.
    BTW, I have a Phd in Statistics and this has a very strong association.
    Be very careful with drugs. Big business, get to market and worry about the life destroying side effects later.

    August 12, 2013 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wee Small Pharma

      You don't have a PhD in anything.

      August 13, 2013 at 01:56 | Report abuse |
    • VladT

      I have a Bachelor's in Business....tell me again what both of our non-medical degrees has to do with advising people to not take their medicines

      August 13, 2013 at 07:41 | Report abuse |
  24. Speckled

    I have two kids with autism. One was induced, one wasn't. I didn't get vaccines for either until they were older than two and were already diagnosed so I don't believe there is any link there just that the vaccines are generally given when the symptoms start showing up, a coincidence. At this point there is just too much they say might cause autism. Age, diabetes, genetics, diet, induction, air pollution, vaccines. No one in our family history ever had autism, I'm young, healthy, never had diabetes, didn't live in pollution, didn't get the vaccines till they were older etc. I think they are grasping at straws at this point. I mean from the amount of studies I've read on the topic almost everything apparently causes autism. I don't think they should post articles like this unless it is a proven fact, it is just a way to spread fear and make mothers feel guilty wondering if they weren't induced would their child have had autism. It might also make women say no to induction when they have a medical emergency and need to get the baby out.

    August 12, 2013 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ellie

      Well, I don't feel guilty, but I will forever wonder if that induction was the last straw that changed my son's life.

      August 12, 2013 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
  25. clearfracture

    Autism is evolution folks. We have a new selection bias. Where we used to select a mate who could hunt and protect our brood, we now select for intelligence. Overall, as a population, humans are now selecting brains over braun. We can research it all we want but this change is happening fast. It seems akin to a type of punctuated articulation. The multiplicative rate at which Autism is showing up in our offspring, is rapid. Perhaps instead of being frantic about this, we might begin to think of how this will change our world and how this type of genetic surfacing of not-hampered-by-emotion-and-(possible)-high-IQ benefits our species and what pitfalls it may have for us in both the short term and long term. I am the child of an Aspie, my life partner is Autistic and at least one of our four children has Autism. They each have strengths and deficits in life. I do not hypothesize with carelessness; our world is changing.

    August 12, 2013 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe Mauro

      if that is true than why are there more cases of autism in america each year per capita than anywhere else?

      August 13, 2013 at 00:35 | Report abuse |
    • VladT

      As someone constantly being told that I am loved "like a brother," let me know when that whole brain over braun thing makes its way over to California. In the meantime, still have a lot of female friends, a lot hot, yet still single.
      VladT = skinny in California

      August 13, 2013 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
    • clearfracture

      Joe M. – You will want to check out Temple Grandin's new book, The Autistic Brain (published April or May of 2013). She discusses how Autism is diagnosed in countries other than the United States. Particularly of interest is the idea that there are entire populations, specific to different cultures, where what we would call Autism here would get an entirely different name there. I say "there" only because how folks label Autism depends on where you are in the world. Many places, many different names for Autism, each name common to that region of the world. Interestingly, there are also places where what we call Autism is barely recognized at all.

      Temple Grandin is a good place to start if you want to look at interpretations of current research that are both relevant and up to date. I also recommend John Scott Holman. These folks are both adult Aspies and although they are not the only relevant writers on Autism, they are a very good place to begin. There was some research out of a major Big Ten University recently that suggests a strong correlation between prenatal ultrasounds and Autism and another that suggested that too much folic acid caused Autism. To my knowledge, these two research studies have not even made it to publication. I suspect they won't ever make it to publication. Can you imagine the benefit vs. risk in women choosing to not have ultrasounds or choosing not to use folic acid while pregnant? We all are very well versed in how important folic acid is for our unborn babies. Although these things such as ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, petocin and vaccines all have appeared at one time or another to have a correlation, the reality is that evolution is underway. We need to change how we are looking at this issue and consider that this change is happening quickly.

      August 15, 2013 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  26. Just a Mom

    I think the increase use of ultrasound plays a role in the Autism Epidemic. We know that prolonged doses of ultrasound can heat up cells and cause the DNA to change. What most people don't realize is babies get a dose of ultrasound every time their doctor listens for a heart beat with a doppler at their appointment. Using ultrasound imagery is on the increase as well. Where most women would go their entire pregnancies without a single ultrasound, now many are having one at every appointment in the latter stages of their pregnancies. Adding boutique imagery, and at home doppler, and babies are under constant bombardment.

    If you want further reading – with references: http://www. midwiferytoday .com/articles/ultrasoundrodgers.asp

    August 12, 2013 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mike

    Breaking research reveals that Autism might be related to something, but we're not really sure.

    August 12, 2013 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Renata Senatore

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Finally someone is talking about this! I have a 4 and a half year old boy who is on the spectrum of being autistic. My labor with my son was induced and I actually screamed at the doctor not to do that because i was concerned about the future delay in his development. Sure enough he was speech delayed and now considered PDD or Autism Spectrum child. Please more reseach needed here!!! More attention in this particular area!!! I've always new in the bottom of my heart that the reason for my son's delay was early induction.

    August 12, 2013 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Syndrome Zed

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're not the only parent who "knew" her son's delay was caused by whatever thing she associated with it. Jenny McCarthy's been saying it's all the vaccines' fault, even though that's been shown to be total bull made up for financial gain. Some mothers were sure it was the mercury in the vaccines, even though that too was shown to be false when taking the mercury out of vaccines didn't change a darn thing.

      There's a difference between association and cause, and it's huge. In fact, this study is absolutely worthless because it couldn't even say what medications the mother was on, or what the fathers' ages were – both are known risk factors for autism too, and may be the cause or related to it.

      There's still a lot of work to be done, and odds are there are a few dozen or so "causes" – it's not going to be just one thing for us to shout Eureka over.

      August 13, 2013 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • ryanpaige

      Half of my kids were induced and the other half were not (I have four children). The two who were induced have shown no developmental delays and appear to be developmentally ahead of where their non-induced brothers were at the same age.

      Certainly more research appears to be warranted, but it's extremely unlikely we'll ever get to a "cause".

      August 13, 2013 at 01:18 | Report abuse |
  29. Sheebbee

    I had a standard pregnancy, natural birth and breastfed my con. I had no induced labor and he has autism because it's randomly genetic.

    August 13, 2013 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Nova86

    Worthless. Completely worthless study.

    I could find an association between the use of in-home washing machines and the rates of autism. Back when there were no in-home washing machines, there were very few cases of autism. And in homes where washing machines are used the most (generally homes with baby boys because they tend to get their clothes dirtier), there are higher rates of autism.

    D'you think there's a paper in that?

    August 13, 2013 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tx1

      You're right that the paper doesn't prove causation, but it is a strong, scientifically-based correlation.

      To indulge your silly analogy: I would guess that there is a strong correlation to washing machines and household income. That doesn't mean that having a washing machine will make you earn more, but it could mean that having a higher income makes you more likely to have a washing machine.

      The article says that the study controlled for a number of factors, including demographics. I assume that this includes income, but I don't know.

      So, to answer your question, if you had a study that for a distinct set of population of children (not 50 years ago children versus the last 5 years children, but one controlled group) and showed that even controlled for income, and controlled for urban vs suburban vs rural, that there was a strong correlation between those that had home washing machines and autism, and zero correlation for those that went to a laundromat, yes, I would think that was interesting. It still wouldn't mean that washing machines cause autism, but it might lead me to start looking at the differences in detergents at home versus a laundromat, or other factors to try to identify a causation.

      The point is, that just because they didn't prove causation (which wasn't the purpose of the study) that doesn't mean there isn't value to the study, or something to learn from it.

      August 13, 2013 at 04:26 | Report abuse |
  31. Kenny

    Female vs male rates seem to suggest XY chromosome problems, similar to colorblindness.

    August 13, 2013 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wee Small Pharma

      Or a gender-biased over-diagnosis of autism in boys.

      August 13, 2013 at 01:52 | Report abuse |
    • Liz Krauza

      Thank you, Kenny, for your intelligent observation. I am a Fragile-X pre-mutation carrier. I did not know this until after I had my twins. A girl (high-functioning autistic) and boy (severe adhd), aged 8. Various conditions (i.e. autism, add, adhd, mental retardation – all to varied degrees) can be passed on from carriers to their offspring. I believe that autism is more prevalent in boys because they only have one X chromosome. I also think that, had my son gotten autism, maybe it would have been more severe for him than it is for my daughter...

      August 13, 2013 at 12:48 | Report abuse |
  32. AJD

    They may be "linked" but I do not believe that the drugs that are used themselves causes it. It seems much more likely to me that something else in our environment or food that women are being constantly exposed to during their lives and during pregnancy may be the true cause of autism and that this cause may also cause delayed or slowed labor, especially if it also causes some sort of hormone issue. I have three kids and I was overdue with all three. It runs in my family for pregnancies to go long. I was induced with my first two and decided to wait with my third who was born exactly a week after my due date. The two children I have that were induced are fine, they don't have autism and my third is fine though he does have a minor speech/language delay that he is in speech therapy for...however my husband had the same problem as a child so it's most likely genetic and not something to do with him being overdue or anything I did during the pregnancy. I really dislike these articles because so many people do not understand the difference between something CAUSING something and something merely being LINKED but may not really be the CAUSE of a condition. The drugs given to overdue mothers to induce or strengthen labor probably don't do any harm at all.....the real clue is the delayed or weak labor in the first place which may be another effect of the true cause of autism or at least many cases.

    August 13, 2013 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Seriously

    What if it isn't the act of inducing or augmenting that is correlated to increased autism rates but the underlying reason the birth is delayed and needs inducing or augmentation?

    August 13, 2013 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AJD

      Yep, exactly what I said. It's more likely something in our environment or food that women are constantly exposed to that started in the last 30 years or so that is the true cause and also causing the delayed or slowed labor...perhaps whatever it is also causes some sort of hormonal issue as well that causes that. People seem to want to point fingers at something that would be "obvious" like induction drugs or vaccines when I think the true cause is something that's flying under the radar and is present during the development of the fetus in the mother's body and is causing problems with neurological development.

      August 13, 2013 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      That is most likely the case, but is significantly harder to get data for.

      August 13, 2013 at 05:15 | Report abuse |
    • AbbyJ

      But many times, there is no reason other than the woman says she's tired of being pregnant, or the doctor wants to go on vacation.

      August 14, 2013 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  34. Christine

    What media chooses to share can be so interesting sometimes- this is a very flawed study that is not credible, and it's sad to think people will read this, thinking they are educating themselves, when they are not. Anyone in the medical/health field can look at this and brush it off as "just another article", but hey... If this takes off and less people are getting induced an more people are choosing to vaccinate their children... Awesome!

    August 13, 2013 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AJD

      There are actually some very good reasons to induce if a woman is truly overdue....the placenta can start to deteriorate and lead to less oxygen and nutrients reaching the baby, that kind of "cheesy" coating on a newborn's skin when it's born that protects it from the effects of floating around in liquid for 9 months starts to wear off (my brother and my youngest were both born overdue and not induced and they had really red, flaky, peeling skin like they were sunburned because of that), and also a baby can have its first bowel movement in the womb and end up with that in its lungs which can cause an infection that can cause serious breathing problems and can be fatal. Also a baby that would have been able to be born naturally if it were induced may necessitate a C-section if labor is too late in starting because the baby can grow too large to fit through the pelvis....that's more rare but it does happen.

      August 13, 2013 at 02:33 | Report abuse |
    • tx1

      Well the study was done at Duke Medical School and published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, but because Christine on a message board said it was ok to brush it off, I don't have to worry about it now. Maybe I would feel better if my doctor didn't ignore the latest research and at least took it into consideration.

      August 13, 2013 at 03:36 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      AJD- let me rephrase- if less women are getting "optional inductions", there was some sarcasm behind that anyways. I am very aware that there are several reasons to induce- and that's the point... Correlation does not equal causation.
      TX1- here's my point- my main issue with this study is the fact that they didnt have data on the medications the mother was taking... Lets step back and think about that... What if the mom had gestational diabetes, and was induced because she had a 10 lb baby? Who's to say the insulin she was taking didn't cause autism? Or her diet? OR let's say she ha Preeclampsia and that's why she was induced- who's to say the anti-hypertensives she may have been taking didnt cause autism? The point is there's not enough research and u educated people will look at this, and run with it, ignoring that there are several other credible studies out there linking it to other things.

      August 13, 2013 at 06:13 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      *uneducated people will look at this

      August 13, 2013 at 06:42 | Report abuse |
    • AbbyJ

      Up to 42 weeks, there is no real increased risk to the infant.

      I had a baby a year ago, born 6 days late (40 weeks 6 days), and the doctor said he would let me go up to 42 weeks.

      Due dates are approximate anyway, as the due date is scheduled based on the women's last monthly cycle and assuming that her cycle is 28 days. Some women have cycles that are 22 days, some women have cycles that are 35 days, going off "last cycle + 40 weeks" is just a ballpark guess.

      Also, according to Harvard, the average human gestation should be 41 weeks 1 day, not 40 weeks. So a 40-week due date is actually EARLY.

      August 14, 2013 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
  35. Bad study

    They never controlled for maternal age when they looked at inductions/augmentations. Really convenient because I bet the OR would disappear. Their covariates were poor. They decided to include smoking in there, when smoking in this case was actually negatively correlated with autism (probably related to maternal age again).

    Such a bad study. Must be a slow year for JAMA.

    August 13, 2013 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Katie

    It would be better if scientists just stick to "we don't know what causes autism or what factors may contribute to autism." Stop with starting a new band wagon every day, week, month and year.

    August 13, 2013 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Trisha

    I wonder about C-sections as well and if there is any correlation there; of my sister's three sons, the first was an induction, then c-section he is non-autistic, the other two were also c-sections and they are autistic.

    August 13, 2013 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. bob

    but but but an ex playboy model told me autism is caused by this bad stuff in vaccines. i see no reason not to believe her, because even though the bad stuff isnt in vaccines any more and autism is still being diagnosed at increasing rates in children that havent been exposed to the bad stuff – she was in playboy so she MUST know what she is talking about.

    August 13, 2013 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. sarakmedia

    I am ten years younger than my sister. While years apart, our pregnancies were nearly identical. I have two kids she has one. All three kids were late and pregnancies were induced. My kids have no signs of autism and my nephew is on the spectrum. Our mother was 27 when she had me, 37 when she had my sister. My birth was natural and my sister was by emergency c-section. We were both late as well but labors were not induced.. My kids weighted 7.11 and 7.09. My nephew was a whopping 9.8 lbs. I was 18 and 23 when I had my kids and in great shape and my sister was 23 and 30/40 lbs overweight when she got pregnant. In short I'm just saying. They have no idea.

    August 13, 2013 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jigs

      I agree 100%...My son has Autism..no induce labor. I was 30 and not over weight. Still am sticking with it being the vaccinations.

      August 13, 2013 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
  40. John V

    The article properly emphasized that correlation does not equate to causation. More investigation needs to be done,

    August 13, 2013 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dusty Johnson

    Maybe if the doctors would stop inducing austistic women their children would have a chance not to inherit it. Sounds like this is an easier fix than we realize.

    August 13, 2013 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Jan Shore

    I still believe it is the vaccinations that contribute to Autism. My son was fine until he was three. He was given a shot that made him very sick and had a fever. After he got better from this his facial expressions changed. In stead of writing these articles they should be using there time to find ways to help these children cope in the world. My son is eleven and with the help of medicine can cope in the classroom but guess what he is going to need help coping down the road in getting a job. To many commands upsets him but he is very very smart and has awesome ideas. Also we need to educate the world more on Autism everyone acts like these kids are contagious and just push them in the back. Anyone who doesn't have a child on the spectrum can't relate or really be passionate to these kids!!!!!!

    August 13, 2013 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      You believe that because you're stupid.

      August 13, 2013 at 08:55 | Report abuse |
    • KJ

      I'm sorry...but the risk of these horrific diseases just doesn't justify not vaccinating without more data to back up an autism risk. I don't have a child on the spectrum but I have complete empathy and love for any children of special needs.

      August 13, 2013 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
  43. Jones

    I have 3 children, 2 boys and 1 daughter (middle child). The 2 boys are both diagnosed with Aspberger's Syndrome. My oldest now a graduate student was born via C-Section. My youngest, an 8th grade gifted student, was born natural with no pain killers. One never knows, but you must assess for yourself the risk you want to take and find doctor's you can openly discuss your choices. We are a good bit of distance from understanding Autism, but I appreciate the dedication some are digging in to try to find out why. In the end, my boys are as exceptional as my daughter...they just have more visible strengths (which we highlight and encourage), as well as weakness...just like anyone else.

    August 13, 2013 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. DD

    Not disputing the study, just commenting about any link between autism & stressed births, I can't think of anything more stressful to mother & child than a breech birth requiring emergency Caesarian, which is what happened to me, and 20 years later my son is still just fine. He had all recommended vaccinations, too.
    Autism shouldn't be happening. Researchers, keep looking. Pregnant mothers, do your part to be as healthy as possible.

    August 13, 2013 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. kgrnc

    Pitocin, one of the medications utilized in the induction of labor process is naturally produced by the body in the form of oxytocin( oxytocin is secreted by the posterior pituitary gland). Oxytocin is also produced during breast feeding and works to stimulate the uterus to shrink back to its pre pregnancy size. Oxytocin also works with the let down reflex in breastfeeding. Oxytocin is also naturally released as during orgasm, it stimulates contractions of the uterus and dilation of the cervix aiding in the transport of sperm to fallopian tubes.
    As a RN Certified in Obstetrics( with extensive L&D experience) and also a Nursing Educator I have always commented to colleagues I wonder what if any correlation may be between oxytocin use and Autism . In certain states there are laws for the safe disposal of medications, Pitocin IV bags cannot be "dumped" down sink as we have done for so many years. It needs to be double bagged and disposed of separately by pharmacy department. It is considered hazardous waste.
    We may never know exactly what causes Autism, but any steps we can take to aid in prevention or rehabilitation of our children would be time well spent.

    August 13, 2013 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tim

    This article strikes a personal chord with me. My 10 year old son is autistic. We didn't have induced labor, but a very difficult labor. The nurses had my wife pushing during her contractions for almost 2 hours before a doctor came in and discovered that my sons head was turned the wrong way. They then did the suction cup on his head and the doctor was pulling with all of his might and the suction cup even popped off a few times. Damn, I thought the doctor was going to pull the poor kids head right off. It was a rough experience, and my son had a massive bruise/goose egg on his head. When he first came out, he had to have some oxygen to help with his breathing. I know this is probably not uncommon, but it really makes me wonder at times, even reading an article like this. It's so tough playing the "what if" game in your head as a parent.

    August 13, 2013 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. KJ

    I was induced with both of my sons...one was because my doctor wanted it done around her schedule which I now realize is absurd and the second because I was overdue....both of my sons are healthy thank goodness but I do think doctors are too quick to induce these days to try and control the situation and when a woman is 10 months pregnant and hormonal it's hard to make rational decisions!!!

    August 13, 2013 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. coupontothelastpenny

    I wouldn't be surprised if this is true, my two labors were induced, and my two kids are on the spectrum. My stepson was born also by induced labor and he is also on the spectrum.

    August 13, 2013 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. zapper45701

    With so many being diagnosed on the spectrum these days, any event during childbirth could be related. It's a broad sweeping brush, and none of the points have been "proven," only guessed at, or surmised from previous experiences. Autism is manifesting in many children of many different backgrounds; actions; characteristics family sizes, styles, and heritages. No one case or occurrence can be diagnosed as cause or reason. Researchers need to delve into the soup of the comings and goings of autism to find the causes. I think it may be related to a combination of items that set off the autism triggers in the brain. If it were just one cause, I think they would have found it by now.

    August 13, 2013 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. JK

    I think any research into modern medicine is only relevant if you think that autism is a recent phenomenon. How often has people with social disorders been described in literature from times before modern medicine? I recal many stories with a "village idiot" or people described as being "deaf and dumb" because they lacked communication skills. Sure now we have a name and definition for it, but that doesn't mean it hasn't existed for hundreds of years.

    August 13, 2013 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
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