How Does Ethnicity Affect The Risk Of A Child Developing An Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Dr. Arthur Beaudet answers the question: 'Ethicity and Autism Spectrum Risk?'

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: How does ethnicity affect the risk of a child developing an autism spectrum disorder?

Answer: As far as we know, ethnicity has very little effect on the risk of having a child with autism. In fact, it is quite difficult to get accurate information about the frequency of autism around the world, because the behaviors depend so much on language and social activities that can differ widely between cultures.

From all we know about the genetics of autism, we would think that ethnicity is not a significant risk factor, although there could be some exceptions.

Autism is one of those unusual conditions where the risk of having an affected child seems to be at least as high for couples in upper socioeconomic groups as compared to couples in a lower socioeconomic status.