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Parents of Children with ASD Want Genetic Testing

By Stacy W. Kish on December 14, 2012


Background: The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by behavioral observations often comes years after the parents suspect a problem with their child’s development. However, children diagnosed at a younger age can begin receiving interventions that show improvement in language skills, adaptive behavior, and IQ scores. Parents with one child diagnosed with ASD report increased rates of anxiety for their younger children.


What’s new: Genetic testing is a major area of focus in ASD.  In this study, researchers surveyed parents with at least one autistic child to gather parents’ input on their interest in a genetic test. Overwhelmingly, 80 percent of parents with one autistic child would consider genetic testing if it becomes available to help establish the risk of the disorder in younger children. Parents also seek clear and honest answers from their doctors.


Why it’s important: Parents are interested in a genetic test that could indicate risk of ASD, even if the test cannot confirm a diagnosis. Diagnosing children at a younger age improves intervention treatments and parental acceptance of the diagnosis.

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