Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Infants With Autistic Siblings May Display Early Social, Communication Problems

Date:
April 5, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders do not perform as well on tests of social and communication development compared with siblings of children without developmental problems at ages as young as 12 months, according to a recent report.

Younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders do not perform as well on tests of social and communication development compared with siblings of children without developmental problems at ages as young as 12 months, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on autism spectrum disorders.

Studies of twins and families indicate that autism and related disorders have a genetic basis, according to background information in the article. This includes milder conditions known as the "broader autism phenotype," consisting of traits that are similar to those associated with autism but are not severe enough to cause disability. Approximately 6 to 9 percent of younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders (including autism and related conditions) develop autism spectrum disorders, and others may demonstrate features of the broader autism phenotype.

Wendy L. Stone, Ph.D., and colleagues at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., studied 64 younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders and 42 younger siblings of children with typical development. The siblings were between the ages of 12 and 23 months (average age 16 months) when they were assessed between 2003 and 2006. Participating children were measured using tests of thinking, learning and memory; an interactive screening tool assessing play, imitation and communication; and a scale rating autism symptoms. Parents were also interviewed and filled out questionnaires regarding their children's social, communication and language skills.

"Younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders demonstrated weaker performance in non-verbal problem-solving, directing attention, understanding words, understanding phrases, gesture use and social-communicative interactions with parents, and had increased autism symptoms, relative to control siblings," the authors write. The pattern of scores on tests suggested that a substantial minority of the siblings of autistic children had low scores, as opposed to a few extremely low performers who may have deceptively brought down the average scores. In addition, "the consistency of results obtained across different methods highlights the robustness of these findings."

The weaker performance of siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder may represent early signs of the broader autism phenotype, and highlights the importance of closely monitoring these at-risk children for developmental problems, the authors note. "This research has the potential to increase our knowledge about the early development of autism and to develop tailored intervention and prevention strategies for promoting optimal outcomes in this group of at-risk children," they conclude.

This study was supported in part by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; a Mentor-Based Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Alliance for Autism Research; and in part by the Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center Marino Autism Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Infants With Autistic Siblings May Display Early Social, Communication Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402162051.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, April 5). Infants With Autistic Siblings May Display Early Social, Communication Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402162051.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Infants With Autistic Siblings May Display Early Social, Communication Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402162051.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins