Beyond autism: a baby siblings research consortium study of high-risk children at three years of age.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23452686
Author: 
Sigman M
Author List: 
Messinger D
Young GS
Ozonoff S
Dobkins K
Carter A
Zwaigenbaum L
Landa RJ
Charman T
Stone WL
Constantino JN
Hutman T
Carver LJ
Bryson S
Iverson JM
Strauss MS
Rogers SJ
Sigman M
Journal: 
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
PubMed ID: 
23452686
Pagination: 
300-308.e1
Volume: 
52
Issue: 
3
Abstract: 
First-degree relatives of persons with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at increased risk for ASD-related characteristics. As little is known about the early expression of these characteristics, this study characterizes the non-ASD outcomes of 3-year-old high-risk (HR) siblings of children with ASD.Two groups of children without ASD participated: 507 HR siblings and 324 low-risk (LR) control subjects (no known relatives with ASD). Children were enrolled at a mean age of 8 months, and outcomes were assessed at 3 years. Outcome measures were Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) calibrated severity scores, and Mullen Verbal and Non-Verbal Developmental Quotients (DQ).At 3 years, HR siblings without an ASD outcome exhibited higher mean ADOS severity scores and lower verbal and non-verbal DQs than LR controls. HR siblings were over-represented (21% HR versus 7% LR) in latent classes characterized by elevated ADOS severity and/or low to low-average DQs. The remaining HR siblings without ASD outcomes (79%) belonged to classes in which they were not differentially represented with respect to LR siblings.Having removed a previously identified 18.7% of HR siblings with ASD outcomes from all analyses, HR siblings nevertheless exhibited higher mean levels of ASD severity and lower levels of developmental functioning than LR children. However, the latent class membership of four-fifths of the HR siblings was not significantly different from that of LR control subjects. One-fifth of HR siblings belonged to classes characterized by higher ASD severity and/or lower levels of developmental functioning. This empirically derived characterization of an early-emerging pattern of difficulties in a minority of 3-year-old HR siblings suggests the importance of developmental surveillance and early intervention for these children.
Published Date: 
March, 2013

Appointments & Referrals

FIND A SPECIALIST

Publications

Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.

 

Resource Finder

 

A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.