The Autistic Journalist

Using words to explain the mind

Can neurotypicals be autistic?

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Logically speaking, a neurotypical autistic isn’t humanly possible, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to some of the symptoms. A University of Oregon study published last week suggests that older siblings of autistic children who are in preschool may develop hyperactive behaviors of their own. The study also supports the theory of mothers with autistic children experiencing more depression and stress than mothers of children who develop typically (anyone want to go out on a limb? :-p)

The impact was considered statistically insignificant, according to the study, but suggest a possible presence of symptoms associated with broader characteristics in previous studies. The difference in behavior was noted more in the classroom than at home, as teachers said children with autistic siblings displayed hyperactive tendencies, but nothing remotely close to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The findings were enough for the director of Oregon’s school psychology program to present the potential for siblings of autistic children to develop problems over time.

Good thing I’m the oldest of 4…there’s no way I can screw up my siblings. Hear that? You’re free! :-p

Sarcastic in nature, that is my first response to the published findings. Is there a study involving younger siblings of autistic children?

The study does highlight a segment of people affected by autism but rarely featured. I wouldn’t expect this story to make rounds on mainstream news simply because it doesn’t conclude much, but I’ve never seen or read a story about how brothers/sisters of autistic people react and adapt to their “bohemian” relatives (and I can only recall one story that featured a father: a profile piece on ESPN in the wake of Jason McElwain’s rise to prominence). If you’re looking to do an autism story that will separate itself from the field, trying talking to the uncharted territories of the family tree. Chances are they’ll have something to say.

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Written by TheSportsBrain

March 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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