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Individual and family histories


Individual and family histories


      


      A great deal can be learned from looking at the history of an individual with autism and also from their family history. Take account of parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Problems may even have come from way back, i.e. great grandparents.
      Do you have allergies, asthma or eczema? Do you have migraine? Does anyone have anaemia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or ME? Perhaps a cousin has arthritis. There may be a history of celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome. All of these factors may contribute to the forming of a genetic predisposition to autism.
      These common factors could of course be due to pure chance or coincidence, but similar histories come up time after time. Crohn's disease or wheat and/or dairy intolerance are also very common amongst our families, too.
      Many parents report that they see odd bone structures in their children. Perhaps it is difficult to get shoes to fit. The child's feet may roll inwards, or he may have 'flat' feet (easy to see after a bath or swimming, when the wet footprint doesn't have a dry curve on the inside). Maybe the child has a 'pigeon' chest (his front ribs stick out) or his knees may be close together. Some fingers or toes may be short and stubby, with wide nails. Also, there may be teeth problems - soft, easily decayed. Walking may look awkward - unanimated and 'plodding'.
      As a baby, you may have noticed colic, constant regurgitation of feeds, difficulty settling, etc. Baby may have been very active inside mother. Also, mother may have had infections during pregnancy for which she was prescribed antibiotics, which may have given her vaginal candida. Take a look at brothers and sisters; you may well find they have ADD, hyperactivity, dyslexia or mild learning difficulties.
      The above histories seem common in almost every family. Are they common in yours?