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Background: The recurrence risk of idiopathic autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the subsequent child is between 2-8% for parents who have already had one affected child. Parents' accurate perception of this recurrence risk is important since it affects their decisions regarding future reproduction.
Objective: To study parental perception of the recurrence risk of ASDs in their subsequent child.
Methods: Parents with a child diagnosed with an ASD without known etiology at Child Development Clinic and Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic at Ramathibodi Hospital were contacted by mail during February 1 to March 31, 2008 for an invitation to participate in this study by answering a questionnaire and mailing back to the researcher within two weeks.
Results: Among 252 parents who participated in the study, only 26% had accurate perception of the recurrence risk, 44% overestimated this risk, 25% perceived that there was no risk of ASDs in their subsequent child, and another 5% were unsure.
Conclusion: The result of this study showed that the recurrence risk knowledge in these parents was still inadequate. This information suggests medical professionals to be more proactive in counseling the parents in order to help them make an appropriate decision on having another child.
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