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Reged: 11/28/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Orlando, Fl
Searching for a Cause
      11/28/11 10:05 AM


I work for Birth Defect Research for Children, a national non-profit organization that provides information, support and parent matching for families of children with birth defects and functional disabilities. We also sponsor the National Birth Defect Registry, a research project designed through a collaboration of seven scientists to identify associations between prenatal factors and birth defects both structural and functional. Autistic Spectrum Disorders are included in the conditions we collect data on in the registry.
In 2009, we released a report of 137 cases of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the registry. We found several intriguing trends in our cases such as;
Over 60% of our cases with ASDs also had structural birth defects. These were primarily Central Nervous System and Craniofacial Defects.
Seven cases of ASDs reported chromosomal disorders. There were also two cases of Goldenhar Syndrome. Goldenhar Syndrome has been previously linked with Autism.
40% of our ASD cases reported associated developmental problems but not structural birth defects.
21 families who reported one child with an ASD had other children with structural birth defects. Seven families had two children with an ASD (including one set of twins).
In 12 cases, one parent served in the first Gulf War. In 13 cases, one parent was a Vietnam veteran.
The full Autistic Spectrum Disorders Report can be found at http://www.birthdefects.org/research/ASD%20Report%202009.pdf

Since these findings were based on only 137 Autism cases, we would like to expand the number of registry cases to 500 or more so that we may explore these trends on a deeper level. If you are a parent of a child with an ASD, please take the time to visit our website at www.birthdefects.org and read more about the National Birth Defect Registry. We hope you will decide to participate. The registry is sponsored by public donations and personal information is never released without your permission. Another benefit of the registry is our parent matching option. This option allows us to connect you to parents who have children with the same conditions as your child.
Please do not hesitate to email or call with any questions. We will also be at the 19th annual Center for Autism and Related Disorders conference hosted by the University of Central Florida. We hope to release this report during Autism Awareness month but need your help.


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