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Smart Parents more likely to have Autistic Children – Genetic Link with Analytical Minds and Autism

January 31st 2006

Smart Parents more likely to have Autistic Children – Genetic Link with Analytical Minds and Autism


In an article published in the Archives of Disease of Childhood, Professor Baron-Cohen claims that children born to analytical couples, such as scientists, may be more likely to have children with autism.  Cohen, a professor at the University of Cambridge, believes the same gene that makes people analytical may also impair social and communications skills. 

A weakness in communications and social skills is a key characteristic of autism, according to the paper.  It is believed that one in 100 children has a form of autism, and most of these are boys.  According to the researchers, the number of diagnoses seems to be on the increase.  Some believe this may be because of greater awareness though.

Dr. Cohen labels people such as scientists, mathematicians and engineers as “systemizers”.  They are skilled in analyzing systems, like vehicles, math equations, etc. to figure out how they work.


These same people tend to be less social, and an exhibit behavior such as an obsession with detail, according to the researchers.  These are classic traits of autism.  These types of people are usually attracted to each other.  They are much more likely to pass the autism genes on to their offspring.

Their research included a survey of 1,000 members of the National Autistic Society.  Here he found fathers and grandfathers of children with autistic “conditions” were twice as likely to work in a “systemizing” profession.


According to the BBC, other research has found both mothers and fathers of children with autism score highly on a questionnaire measuring autistic traits. “Brain scan studies have also shown that mothers of autistic children often show patterns of brain activity more associated with me,” according to the BBC.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on the Mind

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM