Recurrence risk in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A study of parental knowledge


Dr David Amor, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville 3052, Australia. Fax: +61 3 83416390; email:


Aim:  To describe recurrence risk information currently being obtained by families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methods:  Structured telephone interview of parents of 21 children who received a diagnosis of ASD at Calvary Health Care Tasmania, Hobart, Australia between May 2005 and May 2006.

Results:  Only one of the 21 parents knew their true recurrence risk. Many overestimated their risk substantially, and in four cases this had led to a decision against increasing family size. Eleven parents said they had received no information about recurrence risk, and only one cited medical practitioners as a source of information about recurrence risk.

Conclusion:  Current provision of information about recurrence risk to families affected by ASD is inadequate.