New Autism Study Focuses on Siblings

By Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Aug 22, 2013  |  Updated 5:42 AM PDT
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Bay Area families paying close attention to recent autism study. Scott Budman reports.

Bay Area families paying close attention to recent autism study. Scott Budman reports.

Studies have shown a rise in cases of autism in centers of technology like the Bay Area.

This particular study focuses on the likelihood of a sibling of an autistic child also being autistic.

Inside the classroom at Santa Clara's Pacific Autism Center for Education, instructors work with students, providing programs for individuals with autism as they help the kids and their families.

They're also reacting to a recent study from Denmark, that showed children who have an older sibling with autism are seven times more likely to be diagnosed with autism themselves.

We sat down with Pace director Kurt Ohlfs who says studies like this one provide an opportunity to offer services to the younger siblings earlier.

“We can get a lot of the support started for the child and parent at home. A 20 times greater chance of success for that child," Ohlfs said.

In parts of the Bay Area, the rate of autism is as high as one in 55 kids, compared with a national average of one in 88.

The study is in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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