Breech Birth and Autism / Asperger's

Risk Factors for Autism: Perinatal Factors, Parental Psychiatric History, and Socioeconomic
. (August, 2004). This chart from the study says that 8.3 percent of autistic children were
born breech whereas 4.9 percent of non-autistic children were born breech. (
Wikipedia says
"Researchers generally cite a breech presentation frequency at term of 3-4% . . . but some
claim a frequency as high as 7%".)

"A child with breech is twice as likely as a child who did not present as breech to develop
autism," said lead researcher, Dr. Deborah Bilder, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the
University of Utah School of Medicine." Source:
US News & World Report, Autism Tied to
Older Moms, Breech Birth
, April 27, 2009.

Breech Birth and Schizophrenia

WESTPORT, Feb 14 (Reuters Health) – Prolonged labor and complications experienced at
delivery show significant associations with brain differences in schizophrenic members of twin
pairs discordant for the disease. [One twin is often born in the breech position and the other

In the February 2000 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Thomas F. McNeil, of the
Malmo University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues report that they used MRI to study the
size of the bilateral hippocampi and cerebral ventricles in 22 pairs of monozygotic twins in
which only one of each pair had schizophrenia.

The affected twins had smaller left and right hippocampi and larger third and left lateral
ventricles than their respective well twin.

The research team also gathered data pertaining to obstetric complications and minor physical
anomalies. They found significant relations between the smaller hippocampi and labor-delivery
complications, including prolonged labor. The investigators also observed an association
between the relatively large right ventricle and total ventricle in the affected twins and
increased rates of total obstetric, labor-delivery and neonatal complications.

"Trauma at the time of labor and delivery and especially prolonged labor appear to be of
importance for brain structure anomalies associated with schizophrenia," Dr. McNeil and co-
authors write.

They note that this does not "indicate that labor-delivery complications 'cause' schizophrenia."
What the findings do suggest, Dr. McNeil's group says, is "that obstetric complications,
especially labor-delivery complications, and very specifically prolonged labor are related to
brain structure characteristics that are a central focus in schizophrenia."

The authors note that "important insights into the development of schizophrenia might be
obtained by providing a qualified answer to the question of why only one of two genetically
identical twins, who are seemingly exposed to the very same prolonged labor, develops both
schizophrenia and apparently associated structural brain changes lasting into adulthood."

The High Cost of Birth Trauma and Maternal Rejection
By Diane Zimberoff, MFCC and David Hartman, MSW

Each day we are bombarded with the terrifying reports of violent behavior being committed by
younger and younger children. Studies presented at the 1997 International Congress of the
Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) indicate a high correlation
between birth complications, maternal rejection and criminal behavior. One study of bio-social
risk factors by Rame and Mednick studied 4,000 males over several years.

Some of the birth complications which were found to be relevant were (1) use of forceps, (2)
breech birth, (3) long labor, (4) collapse of umbilical cord, (5) cesarean section, and (6) use of
anesthetics (Emerson, 1998).

These birth complications in and of themselves do have very powerful effects on personality,
relationships, self-esteem, depression, suicidal ideation and behavior patterns later on in life.
But the correlation with crime and violence results when the birth complications are paired with
maternal rejection and lack of bonding as measured by the following circumstances: (1)
parents not wanting the pregnancy, (2) mother attempting to abort fetus, or (3) infant left in
foster home or institution for 3 months or more.

These bio-social risk factors are highly correlated with crimes such as murder, rape, assault,
armed robbery and illegal possession of weapons. In psychology the importance of maternal
bonding has long been known. When we talk of this bonding, developmental psychologists are
usually referring to what they call the first developmental stage, which has been recognized as
0-6 months old. The first developmental stage actually begins in the womb and is the most
important time of bonding. If the child does not feel wanted, loved and valued during this early
and very important time, problems in self-esteem, attachment and adjustment begin.

Long-Term Developmental Outcomes of Method of Delivery
Roemer, Frederick J. & Rowland, Douglas Y, Early Human Development, Vol. 39(1), Sep.
1994, 1-14.

Abstract: Investigated whether uneventful non-vertex delivery (NVD) is associated with higher
intelligence than uneventful vertex delivery (VD). Data were gathered prospectively on families
having an NVD birth during the 1950s and early 1960s. IQ scores and school success ratings
for 658 children who had been born uneventfully by NVD (e.g., breech, elective cesarean
section) were compared with those of 1,151 of their own siblings and peers delivered by
cephalic presentation without complication. NVD children had significantly higher IQs than VD
children. Further, NVD children had higher school success scores than their VD siblings. It is
unclear whether these differences are due to physical phenomena related to delivery or to
effects due to differing levels of anesthesia-analgesia, or whether these differences in
intellectual potential are associated with the cause of obstetrical difficulties

Intellectual and Psychical Damage Following Breech Delivery
Gatterer, Gerald & Kubinger, Klaus D., Zeitschrift fuer Experimentelle und Angewandte
Vol 32(3), 1985, 384-399.

Abstract: Investigated the effects of breech delivery on the later cognitive and behavioral
development of 25 breech delivery children born with cesarean section and 30 breech delivery
children born vaginally with manual aid compared with 30 normallyborn children. All Ss were
aged 6-14 yrs, were firstborn, and had no history of cerebral damage. The groups of children
were matched with each other and were administered a battery of achievement tests. Ss'
parents answered a behavioral questionnaire.

Results, especially those from the Comprehension subtest of the German version of the
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), indicate severe cognitive retardation in the
breech delivery Ss, especially in those born vaginally with manual aid.Breech delivery children
also showed some behavioral disorders. It is suggested that cesarean section should be
preferred over vaginal birth in the case of a breech delivery.

Breech Birth & Violence
Los Angeles Times; August 12, 1994

Thanks to Denmark's comprehensive system of keeping track of its citizens, Dr. Adrian Raine
of the University of Southern California and other researchers were able to study the medical
records of 4269 males from birth through the age 18 for clues to violent behavior. To their
surprise, researchers found a direct correlation between those who suffered common birth
complications and a tendency toward violent crime later in life.

Birth complications associated with violence included breech deliveries, babies born with
umbilical cords wrapped around their necks and even those injured during birth, Raine said.
Injuries were recorded at the time of birth by an obstetrician and a midwife, though there was
no obvious brain damage in any case, Raine said.

Such birth complications can cause minor damage to prefrontal regions of the brain – areas
researchers believe control impulsive behavior. Raine's analysis said brain injury alone didn't
seem to be a major factor in predicting violent crime. But he said injury was a "very strong
forecaster" when combined with environmental factors such as "maternal rejection" and child
abuse. "Only 4.4 percent of the total sample [studied] had both of the risk factors ... but they
accounted for 18 percent of all the violent crimes committed by the entire sample of 4269,"
Raine said.

Breech Birth, Violence & Schizophrenia
“Birth Defects & Schizophrenia,” Psychology Today; April 1971

... Most striking of all, 70 percent of the members of the Sick Group's [i.e., those with
schizophrenia] mothers had suffered one or more serious pregnancy or birth complications
(PBCs), contrasting sharply with 15 percent of the Well Group and one third of the controls. the
PBC's included anoxia (oxygen deficiency to the tissues), prematurity, prolonged labor,
placental difficulty, umbilical-cord complications, mother's illness during pregnancy, multiple
births and breech birth (feet first). In addition, the subjects with PBCs were, almost all, the ones
who had shown the abnormal galvanic skin response [i.e., the persons with PBCs became
more irritated than those in the Well and Control groups]. ... We have not yet completed a
formal analysis of these data, but we have examined the cases of the 16 most violent criminals
– persons who have committed rape, murder and serious assault and battery. Fifteen of them
had the most horrible possible conditions at their births, and the 16th had an epileptic mother. It
is very possible that we are on the track of conditions that make some contribution to impulsive

Breech Birth & Personality
Birth Psychology Bulletin; 1989 Vol. 10:108

Abstract: Administered the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) and a birth
questionnaire to 71 adults (aged 21-68 years) with at least some graduate education. Ss were
divided into birth categories of breech, natural, anesthetic, premature, forceps, and cesarean
birth conditions. (The 16PF includes such factors as warm vs cool, sober vs enthusiastic,
concrete thinking vs abstract thinking, dominant vs submissive.) 72 significant contrasts were
discovered, showing that birth conditions impact the individual through adulthood. Secondary
findings include the postmature, cord, delayed, and spinal conditions. Personality profiles were
determined for each of these groups.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a copy of this study. The Bulletin appears to be New
Age psychobabble.

Birth Psychology Bulletin; 1987 Vol. 8 1-34
Abstract: Examined birth conditions and resulting temperamental development after the 1st 5
years in 18 male and 19 female children. Data from longitudinal study were used that had been
obtained through periodic interviews with parents. Birth conditions included natural childbirth,
forceps, breech, cesarean, and premature. Temperament distractability included approach and
withdrawal, adaptability, intensity of reaction, distractability, and attention span and
persistence. Results indicate a tendency for children born via natural childbirth to be perceived
as exhibiting lesser degrees of the different temperamental variables, including
less adaptability and less persistence.

Breech Birth & Personality
Bruce A. Friedemann

Although many famous and successful people have had mental and physical disabilities, there
is little scientific information about whether these persons were born breech, that is, feet or
buttocks first, rather than born normally head first.

Only three percent of all births are breech. Many breech-born infants die within the first year.
Many are dwarfs. If a baby is breech-born vaginally or naturally, rather than by cesarean, it
may suffer cerebral palsy or epilepsy, or have other aberrations. Recent reports also indicate
that children born breech without cesarean are 30 percent more likely to experience
hyperkinesiaand/or learning disabilities.

According to mythology and folklore, a person born "footling" (breech) has the power to heal
others by walking on them. On the other hand, according to these same sources, a footling
may become a prostitute or "harmless" vampire!

According to Pliny, a historian of antiquity, the Roman emperor Nero was born breech, which
Pliny called "a bad omen."

I believe that persons born breech without cesarean section are also easily hypnotized,
because, according to Dr. Herbert Spiegel, an authority on hypnosis, they have sexual role
confusion (transsexual), or possess a stubborn streak, yet accept logical new dogmas and
premises. They have a penchant for new experiences, and live "wholly in the present," but
have an excellent memory. They are trusting and naive, and easy to take advantage of, yet
they are demanding. They may appear retarded, but have a capacity for deep concentration
and under duress become hysterical. No wonder then that Dr. Spiegel wrote that these people
are often misdiagnosed and found in the backwards of mental hospitals!

From my study of many biographies, I've found a correlation between people who had
unspecified complications during birth and the following characteristics: The ability to speak
many languages or act out multiple personalities, a "backward" or prodigy childhood, a
whispering, charismatic or hearty manner of speaking. I found that PBB liked music, philosophy
or religion, like the colors red and purple. Some had effervescent, spacy, ardent, cool, childlike

Based on the above stereotypes, I believe that all of the following people were born breech
without cesarean section: Ronald Reagan, Diana Ross, H.L. Hunt, Mick Jagger, Goldie Hawn,
Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Cher, Sirhan-Sirhan, Gene Wilder, Prince, Sylvester Stallone, Hitler
and Michael Jackson.

Pregnancy & Birth Complications: A Risk Factor For Schizotypy
Paul Bakan; Kim Peterson, Journal of Personality Disorders Vol. 8(4), Win 1994, 299-306.

Abstract: An excess of pregnancy and birth complications (PBCs) in the births of
schizophrenics suggests the hypothesis of a similar excess of PBCs in the births of schizotypal
Ss. The Rust Inventory of Schizotypal Cognitions (RISC) and an inventory of pregnancy and
birth complications were administered to 499 undergraduates. Schizotypal Ss, defined as those
scoring in the upper decile of scores on the RISC inventory, reported significantly more PBCs
than did nonschizotypal Ss. In multiple regression analysis, the individual PBCs most predictive
of schizotypy were breathing problems or need for oxygen, artificial induction of labor, and
breech birth. These findings are consistent with a neurodevelopmental risk model for the
etiology of schizotypy

Significance Of External Factors In The Development Of Feeble-Mindedness: A Study Of Twins
Monatsschrift fuer Kinderheilkunde 63, 1935, 276 ff

Abstract: This study deals with the tendency, which now prevails in Germany to sterilize adults,
who, it is feared, may produce feeble-minded offspring. Brander took 10 pairs of twins as the
subjects for his study. He feels that most previous studies have lacked proper control cases
and have been made on an insufficiently large number of subjects. The study of twins gave him
excellent controls. Among these 10 pairs, 13 subjects were feeble-minded. Although there was
a history of alcoholism and epilepsy in several of the families, there was no case of feeble-
mindedness. However, in the case of every one of the 13 feeble-minded persons there was a
history of abnormal labor. In one case high forceps was used, while in the other 12 delivery
was by breech presentation. The author comes to the conclusion that great caution must be
used in asserting that feeble-mindedness is hereditary.

The  Grade 5 Syndrome: The Highly Hypnotizable Person
Dr. Herbert Spiegel, Int. J. Hypnosis, Vol. 22 No. 4 October 1974

It is these stereotypes that I believe are the same for persons born breech, i.e., persons born
breech are highly hypnotizable: GRADE 5's make up 5% of the population; have excellent
memory; role confusion (transsexual?), stubborn personality core yet subject to accept logical,
rational new dogmas and premises; likes to experience new opportunities, lives wholly in the
present, trusting, demanding, almost as if naive and easy to take advantage of; deep capacity
for concentration; under duress becomes hysterical, found misdiagnosed in the backwards of
psychiatric hospitals.

The Gift of Dyslexia by, Ron Davis [Breech Birth and Dyslexia are related, see below]

Usually when people hear the word dyslexia they think only of reading, writing, spelling, and
math problems a child is having in school. Some associate it only with word and letter
reversals, some only with slow learners. Almost everyone considers it some form of a learning
disability, but the learning disability is only one face of dyslexia.

Once as a guest on a television show, I was asked about the "positive" side of dyslexia. As part
of my answer, I listed a dozen or so famous dyslexics. The hostess of the show then
commented, "Isn't it amazing that all those people could be geniuses in spite of having
dyslexia."  She missed the point. Their genius didn't occur in spite of their dyslexia, but
because of it!

Having dyslexia won't make every dyslexic a genius, but it is good for the self-esteem of all
dyslexics to know their minds work in exactly the same way as the minds of great geniuses. It is
also important for them to know that having a problem with reading, writing, spelling, or math
doesn't mean they are dumb or stupid. The same mental function that produces a genius can
also produce those problems.

The mental function that causes dyslexia is a gift in the truest sense of the word: a natural
ability, a talent. It is something special that enhances the individual.

Dyslexics don't all develop the same gifts, but they do have certain mental functions in
common. Here are the basic abilities all dyslexics share:

1. They can utilize the brain's ability to alter and create perceptions (the primary ability).
2. They are highly aware of the environment.
3. They are more curious than average.
4. They think mainly in pictures instead of words.
5. They are highly intuitive and insightful.
6. They think and perceive multi-dimensionally (using all the senses).
7. They can experience thought as reality.
8. They have vivid imaginations.

These eight basic abilities, if not suppressed, invalidated or destroyed by parents or the
educational process, will result in two characteristics: higher than normal intelligence, and
extraordinary creative abilities. From these the true gift of dyslexia can emerge – the gift of

The gift of mastery develops in many ways and in many areas. For Albert Einstein it was
physics; for Walt Disney, it was art; for Greg Louganis, it was athletic prowess.

To change our perspective of dyslexia from disability to gift, we must start with a clear,
accurate understanding of what dyslexia really is, and what causes it. Doing this will bring out
the positive as well as the negative aspects of the situation and allow us to see how dyslexia
develops. Then the idea of correcting it won't seem far-fetched. Going a step beyond
correcting the problem, we can also recognize and explore this condition as the gift it truly is.

Before a dyslexic person can fully realize and appreciate the positive side of dyslexia, the
negative side should be addressed. That doesn't mean the positive side will not surface until
the problems are solved. The gift is always there, even if it isn't recognized for what it is. In fact,
many adult dyslexics use the positive side of dyslexia in their life work without realizing it. They
just think they have a knack for doing something, without realizing their special talent comes
from the same mental functions that prevent them from being able to read, write or spell very

The most common disabilities of dyslexia occur in reading, writing, spelling, or math; but there
are many others. Each case of dyslexia is different, because dyslexia is a self-created
condition. No two dyslexics have created it exactly the same.

In order to understand the gift of dyslexia, we need to view the learning disability known as
dyslexia from a different angle. Dyslexia is the result of a perceptual talent. In some situations,
the talent becomes a liability. The individual doesn't realize this is happening because use of
the talent has become compulsive. It began very early in life and by now seems as natural as

Long-Term Follow-Up of Cognitive Outcome After Breech Presentation at Birth
Sorensen,-H-T; Steffensen,-F-H; Olsen,-J; et. al., Epidemiology. 1999 Sep; 10(5): 554-6

Studies of long-term consequences of birth in breech presentation are sparse. Therefore, we
conducted a cohort study linking birth registry data with data collected during evaluation for
military service in 4,298 conscripts born between 1973 and 1976. The cognitive functions were
measured with the Boerge Prien IQ test. A total of 164 conscripts were born in breech
presentation and 70 (42.7%) of these were delivered after Cesarean section. The mean
Boerge Prien test score was 43.2 among men born in cephalic presentation and 39.9 among
those born in breech presentation for a difference of 3.3 (95% confidence interval = 1.8-4.7).
The negative association between breech presentation and cognitive outcome persisted after
stratifying by Cesarean section and after adjustment for confounders. It also persisted when we
restricted the analyses to term singleton pregnancies.

Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Children Born in Breech Presentation • [Learning Disability/Dyslexia
& Breech Birth] Stefan Fianu and Ingemar Joelsson,
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 58:295-299,

Abatract. The influence of delivery in breech presentation on the occurrence of minimal brain
dysfunction (MBD) has been studied. Parents of 8-15 year old children were asked to account
for behavioral and educational deficits and needs of their children from birth until the date of
investigation. It was found that among prematurely delivered children, the frequency of MBD,
defined as hyperkinesia and learning disability, amounted to about 20 per cent and was
similarly distributed between children delivered in breech and in vertex presentation. Among
term delivered children, however, the average frequency of hyperkinesia and learning disability
amounted to 8 per cent; in children born in breech presentation it was 14 per cent, while in
those born in vertex presentation the corresponding figure was 2 per cent. MBD was more
common in boys (16 per cent) than in girls (12 per cent). [Further study is needed to determine
if Cesarean section for breech presentation will prevent MBD.] See Table V below:
The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
Highly creative people often seem weirder than the rest of us. Now researchers know why
By Shelley Carson  | April 14, 2011
He is one of the world’s best known and most successful entrepreneurs, with hundreds of
patents to his name — including the Segway scooter. But you will never see Dean Kamen in a
suit and tie: the eccentric inventor dresses almost exclusively in denim. He spent five years in
college before dropping out, does not take vacations and has never married. Kamen presides
(along with his Ministers of Ice Cream, Brunch and Nepotism) over the Connecticut island
kingdom of North Dumpling, which has seceded from the U.S. and dispenses its own currency
in units of pi. Visitors are issued a visa that includes spaces on which to note identifying marks
on both their face and buttocks.

Kamen, who works tirelessly at inspiring kids to pursue careers in science and engineering, is
one of many highly creative people whose personal behavior sometimes strikes others as odd.
Albert Einstein picked up cigarette butts off the street to get tobacco for his pipe; Howard
Hughes spent entire days on a chair in the middle of the supposedly germfree zone of his
Beverly Hills Hotel suite; the composer Robert Schumann believed that his musical
compositions were dictated to him by Beethoven and other deceased luminaries from their
tombs and Charles Dickens is said to have fended off imaginary urchins with his umbrella as
he walked the streets of London. More recently, we have seen Michael Jackson’s
preoccupation with rhinoplasty, Salvador Dalí’s affection for dangerous pets and the Icelandic
singer Björk dressed for the Oscars as a swan.

Schizotypal personality is a milder version of the clinical psychiatric condition called schizotypal
personality disorder, which is among a cluster of personality disorders labeled “odd or
eccentric” in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders. The schizotypal diagnosis grew out of large epidemiological studies in which
researchers noticed that the relatives of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia were more
likely to exhibit odd behaviors and beliefs than relatives of those not afflicted with

Schizotypal people, for instance, may dress in an idiosyncratic style; their speech patterns may
be somewhat out of the ordinary; they may respond ineptly in social situations; their emotional
responses may be inappropriate; they may believe in supernatural phenomena such as
telepathy and omens; and they may be hard to get close to — both physically and emotionally.
In short, schizotypal individuals are eccentric.

Not all schizotypal people have a personality disorder, however. They are often very high
functioning, talented and intelligent. Many of my students at Harvard University, for example,
score far above average on schizotypal scales, as well as on creativity and intelligence

Read more:
Scientific American.
Table V. The Occurrence of hyperkinetic syndrome, learning
disabilities and speech disorders in term and delivered infants.
Vertex (Head first)
1. Impulsivity
2. Disorder of attention
3. Emotional lability
*   All three symptoms
Learning disability
1. Dyslexia
2. Dysgraphia
3. Dyscalculia
*   All three symptoms
**  Hyperkinetic
syndrome &
learning disability
Speech disorders
*** All three syndromes
Total number of infants
Breech Birth Schizophrenia & Twins
(Why one twin may have a different personality than the other)
Schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder: the biological roots of mental illness as
revealed by the landmark study
of identical twins, E. Fuller Torrey, Ann E. Bowler, Edward H.
Taylor, Basic Books, Apr 20, 1995 - 304 pages
Frank Sinatra.
Scott Layne, aka, Scott Lane Wisman, one of America’s most successful male exotic
Frank Zappa, singer.
Wilhelm II, German Emperor
Joseph Crabtree, polymath (genius)
Jerry Lee Lewis, entertainer.
Feliu Delargo, a Catalan cellist born in 1892
Gustav Mahler, composer
Becky Garrison, Religious Satirist, author
Edward Walter Hayes, aka Eddie Hayes, lawyer, author
Christopher Nolan, Irish poet, author (see also, Wikipedia)
Joe Phillips, comic book artist (see also Wikipedia)
Marv Davidov, Non-violent Revolutionary peace activist
David Shields, Author, professor (see also Wikipedia)
Anne Deveson, Writer, broadcaster and filmmaker (see also Wikipedia)
Nero, Roman Caesar
Sylvia Dickey Smith, author
Raquel Baranow, the author of this website, 666isMONEY
Chesa Boudin, writer, lecturer, Rhodes scholar (see also Wikipedia)
Patty Ann Smith, singer, songwriter
Betty Hill Crowson, writer/author, holistic life coach, spiritual retreat director, and motivational
Ken Freeman, Christian evangelist and author
John Vold, singer, musician
Bret Michaels, singer (Poison)
Troy M. Wussow,  Aikijudo-Jitsu, Kung Fu, martial artist (very interesting biography)
Kathy Lynn, blogger (the name of her blog is Essential Eccentricity)
Documented cases of persons born breech/footling