Okay, not really a “talk”, per se…
Being what some might consider an “older dad” (i.e. approaching my 40’s), one of my concerns was about, well, being an “older dad”. Now that we are considering the idea of considering another child, I often revist those concerns in my head; will I be too old to enjoy their youth? Will they be out of the house before I retire? and so on.
Then I read about the results of a recent study on older dads and autism risks done in Isreal. As if studies linking the age of the father to schizophrenia and lower intelligence weren’t bad enough. Basically, they studied a slew of teens and compared the rate of autism with the age of their fathers, finding a higher rate amoung those with fathers who were over 40 at the time of birth (the child’s birth, not that father’s).
That’s why I was happy to read this article, which
rips holes in the study places the results into perspective, outlining weaknesses of the study (to be fair, the study did call for further research). The article points out issues with sample size, margin of error, etc. The premise that autism is somehow based on genes rather than environment is not, the article argues, completely ruled out by this study. Apparently, mercury (the slick, silvery stuff, not the planet, nor the … god? messanger of the gods??) has not been cleared of any wrong-doing.
Will this stop me from worrying? No. But worrying is what I do best. Will this stop us from having another child? Meh. I doubt it.