Should I have another child after autistic twins?

Man and woman with hands holding the woman's pregnant belly,  Should I have another child after autistic twins?
Should I have another child after autistic twins?

One question we hear often in our community is whether I should have another child after having autistic twins or triplets. Having a baby is well, having a baby!  We all go into pregnancy not knowing what the outcome is. It’s natural to have mixed feelings, ranging from excitement at the thought of a new baby to concerns about managing additional responsibilities. If you’re thinking about whether it is right to have another child, let’s look at a few ways this might affect your family.

Take time to reflect

Start by taking a good look at your current situation. Parenting autistic twins, triplets or quadruplets is a unique and demanding job. You might wonder if you are ready to add a baby into this mix. It’s important to consider how you are coping with the challenges now. Are you feeling emotionally and physically up to the task of a new baby, or does the idea feel overwhelming? Your support system is also very important to consider. Do you have family members or friends who can lend a hand? What about access to professional resources like therapists or support groups? Knowing you have a strong network can make the idea of a new baby less daunting.

Your personal readiness is a vital part of this decision. Reflect on your desire for another child. Is it something you deeply want, or are there lingering doubts? Think about how another child fits into your long-term vision for your family. Sometimes, talking through these feelings with a partner or a trusted friend can bring clarity.

Is autism hereditary?

Another thing to think about is the genetic aspect of autism – there’s a good chance that another child might also be neurodiverse. This shouldn’t discourage you, but it is something to consider. Genetics do play a significant role in autism, but instead of being caused by a single gene, it’s usually the result of a combination of genetic factors. Research involving twins and families has shown that if one child has autism, there’s a higher chance that their siblings might also be on the spectrum, suggesting a hereditary link.

Think about how a new sibling might impact your twins. Babies bring joy and change in equal measure. How might your twins react to shifts in their routine or sharing your attention with a new sibling? Some children thrive with a new baby brother or sister, while others might struggle with the transition. Consider ways to ease this process. You could involve your twins in the pregnancy and preparations, making them feel included and excited. However, it’s also crucial to prepare for potential challenges and think about strategies to manage any difficulties that arise.

Ultimately, deciding to have another child is a deeply personal journey. It’s about balancing your dreams with practical considerations and the unique dynamics of your family. Trust yourself and your instincts. You’ve navigated the complexities of parenting autistic twins, triplets or quadruplets, and whatever choice you make, you’ll find a way to make it work for your family.

Did you have another child after autistic twins, or are considering it? Share your stories below.