Document Detail

A prospective study of the emergence of early behavioral signs of autism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20410715     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To examine prospectively the emergence of behavioral signs of autism in the first years of life in infants at low and high risk for autism.
METHOD: A prospective longitudinal design was used to compare 25 infants later diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with 25 gender-matched low-risk children later determined to have typical development. Participants were evaluated at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months of age. Frequencies of gaze to faces, social smiles, and directed vocalizations were coded from video and rated by examiners.
RESULTS: The frequency of gaze to faces, shared smiles, and vocalizations to others were highly comparable between groups at 6 months of age, but significantly declining trajectories over time were apparent in the group later diagnosed with ASD. Group differences were significant by 12 months of age on most variables. Although repeated evaluation documented loss of skills in most infants with ASD, most parents did not report a regression in their child's development.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that behavioral signs of autism are not present at birth, as once suggested by Kanner, but emerge over time through a process of diminishment of key social communication behaviors. More children may present with a regressive course than previously thought, but parent report methods do not capture this phenomenon well. Implications for onset classification systems and clinical screening are also discussed.
Sally Ozonoff; Ana-Maria Iosif; Fam Baguio; Ian C Cook; Monique Moore Hill; Ted Hutman; Sally J Rogers; Agata Rozga; Sarabjit Sangha; Marian Sigman; Mary Beth Steinfeld; Gregory S Young
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry     Volume:  49     ISSN:  1527-5418     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-22     Completed Date:  2010-08-30     Revised Date:  2014-09-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8704565     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  256-66.e1-2     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Age of Onset
Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*,  psychology
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis*,  psychology
Child, Preschool
Early Diagnosis
Language Development Disorders / diagnosis,  psychology
Longitudinal Studies
Motor Skills
Personality Assessment
Prospective Studies
Regression (Psychology)
Retrospective Studies
Social Behavior*
Grant Support
R01 MH068398/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068398/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068398-05/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; U54 MH068172/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
Comment In:
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;49(3):208-9   [PMID:  20410709 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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