Dr. Volkmar explains if autism is a genetic condition.
It took people awhile to realize that there’s a very strong genetic aspect to autism. Having had one child with autism, your chances as a couple of having a second, it’s somewhere between probably 2 and 10 percent, which is a lot compared to the rate of autism in the general population because it looks like multiple genes are involved. Probably the risk starts to drop off fairly rapidly when you’re talking about cousins, but even there, there may still be some increased risks. There are some genetics to autism.
About Dr. Volkmar, M.D.:
Fred Volkmar, M.D. is the director of the Yale University Child Study Center and Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale University, where he heads the university's autism research and autism clinic. He is also Chief of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His research focuses on understanding the fundamental nature of autism and developing better guidelines to diagnose autism and related conditions.