Does The Use Of Alcohol Or Marijuana In A Parent's Youth Affect The Risk Of His Or Her Future Child Developing Autism?

Dr. Filipek answers the question: 'Alcohol, Marijuana And Autism Risk?'

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Does the use of alcohol or marijuana in a parent's youth affect the risk of his or her future child developing autism later?

Answer: At this point in time, we do not have evidence linking parental use of alcohol or marijuana in their youth to subsequent autism in their offspring, in their children. Since the increase in cases of autism is fairly recent and alcohol use in youth has been around quite awhile, I would tend to discount that association specifically at this time.