Did anyone here have parents who smoked whilst they were pregnant or in the same room as you when you were a child?
Ever since I was born I remember being in the living room filled with smoke. My dad would regularly smoke in the room with me in it instead of going outside, and there would be no ventillation so I was basically breathing this in all the time on a daily basis for all of my childhood and some of my teenage years.
Also my mum says she didn't smoke when she was pregnant with me but I don't believe that is 100% accurate as even if she didn't, my dad has always smoked in her presence so she would still be effectively inhaling second hand smoke into her body.
I done some quick research and found that some people have written papers suggesting that there could be a link between breathing in second hand smoke as a child and autism. Going by my instincts I can easily see how having thousands of toxic chemicals in your body on a daily basis could affect your brain or certain parts of it as it is developing as a child. I have had problems at school and beyond all of my life and think I finally realise why. I know it is not 100% but I do believe a link is there.
It also lead me to find that children breathing in second hand smoke can lead to an ear infection, and I remember having an ear infection when I was younger too.
I do not know anyone else who grew up with breathing in second hand smoke all the time except my cousin from her parents. She has not been diagnosed with ASD but shows some signs, as well as other mental issues such as BPD.
So I would be interested to hear if anyone else diagnosed with ASD had parents that smoked in their early years
My dad smoked but never around me or my mum. Personally I am of the schooling that it is a neurodevelopmental condition we are born with so don’t think anything we are exposed to after birth would cause autism. As for whilst we are in the womb, I guess it’s possible but it’s not something I am convinced by. No science here, just my opinions - hope that’s ok.
I hate smoke so does my husband so if this is true in some cases it's not in all as our children are still autistic
Growing up, both my parents were heavy smokers. I used to hate going anywhere in the car as I knew I'd be gasping for air by the time we'd reach our destination. Regarding pregnancy, while I obviously can't say for certain (I'd could ask, but no point because I wouldn't get an honest answer anyway), I'm somewhat confident in assuming my mother smoked throughout. It was a different world back then and people were held to much lower standards than they are today, especially so in terms of pregnancy and parenting in general. That's not to say any of that had anything to do with my ASD, offhand I can think of several members of extended family who show autistic traits.
The only person that I know of in my family across four generations who ever smoked is me, and there are at least three generations of us who are autistic or who have notable autistic traits.
NAS62563 said:I done some quick research and found that some people have written papers suggesting that there could be a link between breathing in second hand smoke as a child and autism
There have been many papers written about how autism might be caused by various kinds of "bad" parenting, vaccines, specific cases of industrial pollution, and many other factors which have been shown to have little basis in fact when properly examined. Some of these have set back autism research for decades and have caused untold heartbreak to those people at whom accusing fingers were pointed. That a hypothesis has been published by an academic tells us nothing until the hypothesis has been tested enough to show that it fits reality.
NAS62563 said:So I would be interested to hear if anyone else diagnosed with ASD had parents that smoked in their early years
Whatever "cause" one chooses, there will always be some autistic people who were exposed to the same factors just by chance, and people with a similar story to tell are more likely to respond due to the "me too" factor of responding to forum posts. Without a controlled study making a fair comparison with equivalent non-autistic peers, the answers you receive will not even be able to show a correlation, let alone causation.
Even for those factors which have been investigated thoroughly, none has been shown to affect the incidence of autistic traits by more than a tiny percentage, besides a small handful of extremely rare genetic conditions. And the traits of autism are only that - just kinds of behaviour - and differ so much from person to person that it seems very unlikely that "autism" is anything more than a category which groups together many different sets of neurological differences which just happen to all look a bit similar. I don't believe that any of us is ever likely to know which factors caused our own autism, as we'll each have a different combination of countless different ones.
That doesn't mean that there are no non-hereditary factors, of course, and I think it's very unlikely that there are none at all. Exposure to tobacco smoke and many other pollutants may even be among them. But we're only ever going to find out what they might be through properly conducted scientific research, not internet forum threads or polls which are, by their nature, going to have all kinds of biases.
Besides which - there are plenty enough proven reasons already to think that smoking is a bad thing!
Ditto! I remember one trip from Portsmouth to Salisbury and about 5 miles from Salisbury, I felt really faint and shaky (like sea sickness) . I had to plead with my Parents to stop the car and open the windows. I remember all the smoke leaving the car !!.
Both my parents were heavy smokers and they both drank quite a lot. I don't smoke and drink occasionally. Neither of them exercised but especially over weight.
I guess I got the last laugh when my mother died of Liver failure and my father died of Kidney cancer (linked to smoking).
Very good reply I agree with all of it but I do still think that regular exposure to smoke as a child at least caused some sort of damage to my development in some way or another even if not neccesarily the entire root cause of my ASD
Both my parents smoked like chimneys - as was the fashion back then - I'm AS but my twin brother is NT.
So many people smoked back then that if there was a link, there would be millions of us.
Good point actually as way before our time, smoking was considered a treatment for breathing issues and so it was encouraged to smoke. There would therefore be the majority of the current population with ASD
My mother smoked during pregnancy and beyond. I am autistic and so is my brother.
I have never smoked and my daughter is autistic.