I have an 8 year old autistic son who I love very much. And we desperately want another child. But it might be more than I can handle. What is the probability of having another child with autism?
Your concern is valid and shared by many other parents in your situation. We are learning more about the genetic links to autism every day. It does appear that some forms of Autism have a genetic component. According to this article done by Stanford University and The Tech Museum, your likelihood of having a second child with Autism is between 2-6%. It is suggested by researchers that siblings of autistic children are slightly more likely to have learning or social differences.
Only you can decide what is best for your family. Because your son is 8, if you decide to have another child, the age difference should make parenting easier than two closely spaced children. I know families with typically developing siblings and autistic children, and I also know families with more than one child on the spectrum. Everyone seems to work it out since family is family.
Warm thoughts to you as you thoughtfully consider this decision. Your son is lucky to have a parent who is as mindful as you.