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Behavioral profiles of affected and unaffected siblings of children with autism: contribution of measures of mother-infant interaction and nonverbal communication.

  • Author(s): Rozga, Agata
  • Hutman, Ted
  • Young, Gregory S
  • Rogers, Sally J
  • Ozonoff, Sally
  • Dapretto, Mirella
  • Sigman, Marian
  • et al.
Abstract

We investigated whether deficits in social gaze and affect and in joint attention behaviors are evident within the first year of life among siblings of children with autism who go on to be diagnosed with autism or ASD (ASD) and siblings who are non-diagnosed (NoASD-sib) compared to low-risk controls. The ASD group did not differ from the other two groups at 6 months of age in the frequency of gaze, smiles, and vocalizations directed toward the caregiver, nor in their sensitivity to her withdrawal from interaction. However, by 12 months, infants in the ASD group exhibited lower rates of joint attention and requesting behaviors. In contrast, NoASD-sibs did not differ from comparison infants on any variables of interest at 6 and 12 months.

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