It is well-established that certain disabilities are caused by developmental problems in the womb. Some of these, such as Down Syndrome, are caused by mutations, and there is nothing a mother can do to prevent these. Others, such as brain damage caused by hypoxia (lack of oxygen) can be attributed to failure to diagnose maternal problems such as sleep apnea.
Autism has long been viewed as being in the first group rather than the second. Though there have been theories as to what might cause autism (including a belief that mercury in vaccinations might be the cause), most of these theories have focused on things that happen after the child is born. But a new study indicates that it might not be so simple.
Women with diabetes are encouraged to be very careful with their blood sugars during pregnancy, and some women develop diabetes only during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Research of birth records in southern California summarized in a recent study in the AMA journal show a strong correlation between diabetes during pregnancy and the development of autism.
This study adds to the already extensive list of pregnancy complications associated with diabetes, including:
- High blood sugar being linked to a variety of birth defects
- High blood sugar being a cause of miscarriage
- Fast growth of the fetus (macrosomia), leading to early inducement of labor or c-section
Not all obstetricians are suitably vigilant about the dangers of diabetes and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Now, knowing that the development of autism might also be associated with this disease makes proper treatment even more important.
Please, if you or your child has suffered because your doctor failed to properly diagnose your diabetes, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. Proper care for diabetes and the complications of diabetes (both for you and for your child) is incredibly important, and can also be incredibly expensive. A qualified attorney can help alleviate those financial pressures.