This would be a highly unusual situation to begin with. Although high functioning children with autism or Aspergers can grow to adulthood and lead fairly normal lives, their social limitations makes it difficult to find a mate, but not impossible. In the event that two adults with autism were to marry and have children, well, there really aren’t any statistics out on that subject at the moment.
As to whether or not autistic parents have autistic children, that is also difficult to answer because there does seem to be some genetic link. Enough research has not been completed to prove or deny that autism does have a genetic link, and therein lays the problem. It would seem that children born to parents with autism would have an increased rate of developing the disorder, but without proof that autism is genetic, no one can say for sure.
Additionally, because adults with autism don’t know they have it until they are tested later in life there is no known way of collecting information about the number of children on the spectrum born to these adults. The majority of children on the spectrum who were diagnosed within the last twelve years have not reached adulthood themselves. Research on the genetics of autism has to continue on without them to find an answer to this question until these children get married and have biological children of their own. Even then, they would have to agree to subject themselves to a barrage of questions and allow their children to be tested for the disorder in order to gain more information.
There have been no known cases thus far of two adults with autism marrying and having children themselves. Obviously, this would be a fascinating case study because two high functioning adults with autism somehow finding their way through the pits and perils and joys and highs of a relationship would be incredible. More often than not, you have one average adult being drawn to the person with autism and marrying them because the average person is able to understand the social awkwardness and help fill in the gaps. If there really was a genetic link between parents and autism, that would almost take a backseat to studying two adults with autism navigate relationship and hold it together. It’s not impossible, it’s just improbable.
High functioning adults with autism are sometimes harder to spot. They can be just as charming and loving, intelligent and funny and unique as anyone else. What sets them apart is that they won’t be able to understand the emotional level someone else is at over a situation, or they won’t be able to understand analogies given. The average adult married to a high functioning autistic adult will be quite puzzled by their partner’s behaviors but often find the behaviors eccentrically charming. There have been a few reported cases where a child was born to a couple and later found to have autism and then the couple was spurned on to test and discover that one of them had autism.
A recent Dateline segment featured one such couple, and they were quite happy. He had the autism and only found out after a child of theirs was diagnosed, suggesting the link. She always knew there was something particularly different about him but didn’t mind. It all worked out for them, and provided a case study for geneticists to look at at the same time.
You should be curious to know these questions and answers:
1). Do Autistic Kids Look Different?
2). Can Autistic People Live On Their Own?
3). Can Autistic People Go To College?
4). Can Autism Be Treated With Medication?
We would love to hear your stories especially from parents of children with autism. You can email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time. Have a blessed day! 🙂