A Big Baby Could Hint at Autism Diagnosis

big babies autismAs autism research digs deeper, another finding is sure to have us all staring at our babies' heads and wondering if they're too big and if we should be worried. A link between accelerated growth in baby boys and autism has been discovered, and it's the most vague kind of warning signal for parents who worry about their baby boys being on the spectrum.

Still, any research into this complex and confusing area is welcome, so let's see what the heck big babies and autism have in common, shall we?


It seems that baby boys with atypical head growth also grew faster and were taller and heavier. The atypical head growth by age 1 points to neuronal and musculoskeletal abnormalities. While all big babies don't have autism (and all autistic children didn't have rapid growth in their first year), this "overgrowth" has been theorized to have a negative effect on social and developmental skills as the brain grew too fast to form all the necessary abilities.

The study emphasizes that this overgrowth is not a definitive marker for autism. Which is a relief if you had one of those big babies. I know my daughter had a pretty extreme amount of growth in her first year, especially compared to the relatively stable growth of my son. Which means I was convinced that my son was not thriving since he wasn't in overdrive. Had I known about this finding when my girl was young, I'm sure I would have panicked.

After all, when you hear something has a tie to autism -- no matter how vague -- you can't help but think of your own kids and wonder if they're "normal." Which is ridiculous, since every kid is different and there isn't one "normal" baby anywhere in the world.

Again, it's not the only indicator of autism. However, if your child appears to have developmental issues and had rapid growth in his first year, you should bring it up at your next doctor's visit.

Do you think this finding is helpful to parents?

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