A new study conducted by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suggests that children born to fathers who work in technical jobs, such as in engineering or finance, had a greater risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.
The researchers made use of data from the federal Standard Occupational Classification system and divided the parents into two groups, those having non-people-oriented jobs (technical) or more people-oriented jobs (non-technical).
On comparing the risk of autism to the children, the researchers found that fathers who worked in the engineering field were two times more likely to have children with autism, those in finance had four times and those in healthcare were six times more likely to have children with autism.
"Parental occupation could be indicative of autistic-like behaviors and preferences and serve as another factor in a clinician's diagnosis of a child with suspected autism. Medical students can be taught that this is one of the things to consider", lead researcher Aisha S Dickerson said.