Your Geek Baby Could Have Higher Autism Risk

babies autism techLess of a provable theory, and more of a, hmmm, I guess this could make sense, researcher Simon Baron-Cohen (cousin to Borat) is floating the idea that geeks marrying other geeks are partially responsible for the rise in autism rates. Specifically, those Silicon Valley types who excel at math, science, tech, and aren't so hot at relating to others. In fact, the whole tech boom and influx of men and women to the area has created a whole new generation of babies just like their parents: highly intelligent, and on the spectrum.

While this isn't something that is quantifiable, at this point, it is really interesting to speculate on the rise of Asperger's alongside the tech boom, and more importantly, more women in the workplace.

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Previously men in the sciences worked alone, or with other men. Women are relatively new to the field (heck, to most fields that aren't directly related to child-care and teaching) and it makes it much easier for a man on the Asperger's end of the spectrum to meet a like-minded lady. So it's possible more people with these traits are having more children than ever before. The Dutch version of Silicon Valley actually has some startling statistics to back this up: children born in that area are two to four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Furthermore, the hereditary aspect of autism is an interesting one. Oftentimes when you find one person on the spectrum in the family, you can look around and identify others with the same traits -- even if they've never been diagnosed. Interesting yes, but whether or not this can prove to be helpful in the big picture, is still a mystery.

What do you think about this theory?

 

Image via chimothy27/Flickr

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