Second Hand Smoke As A Child Causing Autism?

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

Parents
  • 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.

    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.

    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!

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