Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Aged’

Podcast 14

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

To My Son: 3/10/09

And Now For Something Completely Different

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Fans of this site will notice that there has been little in the way of blogging on this blog for going on two weeks.  There are several reasons for this. First, I have resumed writing fiction after getting blown out of the water by the recent news about my son, and consequently have had to devote the whopping thirty-five minutes I reserve for daily creative pursuits to being novelist. Second, podcasts are easier.  I record them during rush hour in my car.  And third, I’m not a very good blogger and prefer to leave commentary to those who know what they’re doing: Kristina Chew and others listed in my links to name a few.  I will say that this item from the UK stuck in my craw, especially the headline. The information, even if verifiable, seems so pointless. Had I known that my son would be autistic would I have decided to not have him?  Are there perils to prudence and inaction? Would never knowing my son have been worth the risk? No, yes and no.

More on this (possibly) later, plus I thought George Bush was gone. We shall see…

Daddy Guilt

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I have just finished reading another feel-good article on the great riddle of autism.  This one, in Scientific American, and another condensed version by the same author in his blog, connects advanced aged fathers  (e.g., me) with increased risk of siring autistic offspring (e.g., my son).  The author, an advanced aged father himself, says had he known of these risks he might have thought twice about having his son, a two-year-old who as far as I can tell is autism free.

We wouldn’t know for two years or so whether Henry had autism. And because schizophrenia does not usually appear until the early 20s, we had decades to wait before we would know if Henry was affected.

He also admits that even if his advanced age increases the risk of having a child with autism, such risks are still very low.

(Charles J.) Epstein points out that the general rate of abnormalities of all kinds in newborns is about 2-4%. So even a 3% risk of schizophrenia in the children of men over 50 is not out of line with other risks. And it sounds less frightening when put this way: A 50-year-old man has a 97% chance of having a child without schizophrenia.

So why do I need this?  ”Vaccines caused your son’s autism.”  ”Your age is what did him in.” “Your son is autistic because you’re a shitty dad.”

Why do I need this?  I don’t.  

All I need is the love of my son.   All I can say is, when we were trying to have him four years ago, not knowing that love was the only risk I took.