There’s been a mixed bag of autism headlines over the last seven days. These are our top picks from this week’s ‘Autism in the News.’


They say creativity is the mother of invention – but it’s also the mother of autism! We loved reading about Minnesota-based photographer Kate Miller-Wilson and the way she relates with her son. Using her lens to document the lives of her children has opened doors for Kate to also capture and connect with her son, an often difficult pursuit because of his autism. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story Kate!



And she isn’t alone in using her own creative talents to raise the profile of autism.


Lee Powell from Mayfield has written the play, ‘Being Hugh’ to highlight how uncomfortable life can be for his seven-year-old son, Sam. Using noises to depict the sensations experienced by Sam and other children with autism, Lee hopes the play will inform and spark empathy towards those with an autism spectrum condition.



Now onto Health


Scientists from Mount Sinai in New York claim to have found a link between the age of dads and the likelihood of their children having a social disorder which could include autism. The study suggests children born to men before they turn 25 or after the age of 51 are more likely to be advanced at an early age before going on to suffer poor communication skills and other autism specific symptoms.


Like all new studies we would advise caution in taking such information to heart. Especially as the UK Office of Statistics’ latest report says the average age of all fathers in the UK, at the time of the birth of their child, is 33.2 years of age. That being the case this new link could only be tenuously linked to a minority of people and even then nothing is conclusive.



Similarly the NHS has hit back at fear-inducing Sun headlines claiming grandmothers who smoke in pregnancy increase the chances of their grandchildren having autism.


While it’s of course never advisable to smoke during pregnancy due to the risks of stillbirth, premature birth and the risk of asthma to the child, a spokesperson for our health authority questioned the reporting of the study’s results as well as the way in which evidence was gathered. He said: “It’s wise to interpret these results with a healthy dose of scepticism.”


Thank you NHS – it’s hard to know what to believe!