Over and over again, I've noticed that when people tell me they're autistic, or their child is autistic, the autistic person often has red hair. I'm not the only one who's noticed this. I've even started to suspect lately that my (red-haired) brother may be autistic.
The MC1R gene mutation that causes red hair causes lots of other things: a need for more anesthesia, more intolerance to changes in temperature and we make our own Vitamin D, among other magical powers. We're also more suseptible to Parkinson's.
But these are only the things we know for sure.
I can't help but wonder what else the mutation causes that we don't know about yet.
Is red hair correlated with autism?
Redheads are considered more sensitive...our skin is often sensitive, like I mentioned before, we notice changes in temperature more quickly, and redheads are often more sensitive due to a history of bullying. An anesthesiologist also once told me that redheads are "allergic to everything", after I listed over the 3 medications and several foods that I cannot tolerate. As we're starting to learn, autism often benefits from a gluten-free diet; there's a chance that inflammation (gluten causes inflammation) has a lot to do with autism.
But are these sensitivities akin to the sensory processing issues autistic people deal with?
I'm no scientist, but I can do a bit of research. For starters, we're learning that female autistics present much differently than males, and they can mask better, so therefore they are often underdiagnosed. What I've gleaned from this is that there is a lot about autism that we don't know yet. Maybe one day they'll find a link between redheads and/or MC1R and autism.
Someone on Quora mentioned this:
People with red hair have less glutathione….it could be increased with folate, betaine and b12 to improve methylation. This is being investigated in autism.
So is there a link between gingerism and autism? Only time will tell.