Autism risk estimated at 3 to 5% for children whose parents have a sibling with autism

Roughly 3 to 5% of children with an aunt or uncle with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can also be expected to have ASD, compared to about 1.5% of children in the general population, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings call into question the female protective effect, a theory that females have a lower rate of ASD than males because they have greater tolerance of ASD risk factors.