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 August 20, 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 August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. 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