Early initiation of intensive intervention may lead to improved outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD);yet there are currently no reliable techniques for diagnosing ASD before the age of two years. This research is designed to identify variations in frequencies of occurrence, delayed onset, and/or atypicalities in vocal, motor, and communicative skills that may index later ASD diagnosis. The approach taken involves describing the development of these skills in infant siblings of older children who have been diagnosed with Autism. Infant Siblings are known to be at elevated risk for ASD and language delay. The goal will be to distinguish prospectively between those Infant Siblings eventually diagnosed with ASD, those eventually diagnosed with Language Delay but not ASD, and those with no apparent atypicalities. One hundred fifty Infant Siblings will be observed longitudinally from ages 5 to 14 months, with follow-up at 18, 24, and 36 months. Audio- and videotaped observations designed to sample behavior in contexts that are consistent across participants, standardized instruments, and parental reports will be employed to study vocalizations, rhythmic limb movements, vocal-motor coordinations, postural and locomotor abilities, gross, fine, and oral-motor skills, words, and gestures. Diagnostic outcomes will be assessed at 36 months with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Autism Diagnostic Inventory-Revised, and clinical judgment using DSM-IV criteria. Data from all three subgroups of Infant Siblings will also be compared to parallel data from infants with no known risk for ASD currently being followed as part of separate NAAR and NIH-funded studies. Analyses will focus on identifying behavioral markers in infancy that predict a later diagnosis of ASD, assessing their positive predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity, and on evaluating a set of hypotheses concerning variation in patterns of production and developmental trajectories of infant vocal, motor, and communicative behaviors that may differentiate groups and predict an eventual ASD or Language Delay diagnosis. We currently lack reliable methods for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children younger than 2 years of age. To identify possible predictors of later ASD diagnosis, this study will focus on the development of vocal, motor, and communicative skills in infants at particular risk for ASD and relate atypicalities in infant development to diagnostic status at 3 years of age.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD054979-04
Application #
7799819
Study Section
Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Study Section (CPDD)
Program Officer
Kau, Alice S
Project Start
2007-04-01
Project End
2012-03-31
Budget Start
2010-04-01
Budget End
2011-03-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$519,453
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Pittsburgh
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
004514360
City
Pittsburgh
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
15213
West, Kelsey L; Leezenbaum, Nina B; Northrup, Jessie B et al. (2017) The Relation Between Walking and Language in Infant Siblings of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Child Dev :
Northrup, Jessie B; Libertus, Klaus; Iverson, Jana M (2017) Response to changing contingencies in infants at high and low risk for autism spectrum disorder. Autism Res 10:1239-1248
Charman, Tony; Young, Gregory S; Brian, Jessica et al. (2017) Non-ASD outcomes at 36 months in siblings at familial risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD): A baby siblings research consortium (BSRC) study. Autism Res 10:169-178
Messinger, Daniel S; Young, Gregory S; Webb, Sara Jane et al. (2016) Commentary: sex difference differences? A reply to Constantino. Mol Autism 7:31
LeBarton, Eve Sauer; Iverson, Jana M (2016) Associations between gross motor and communicative development in at-risk infants. Infant Behav Dev 44:59-67
Focaroli, Valentina; Taffoni, Fabrizio; Parsons, Shelby M et al. (2016) Performance of Motor Sequences in Children at Heightened vs. Low Risk for ASD: A Longitudinal Study from 18 to 36 Months of Age. Front Psychol 7:724
LeBarton, Eve Sauer; Iverson, Jana M (2016) Gesture development in toddlers with an older sibling with autism. Int J Lang Commun Disord 51:18-30
Lazenby, DeWayne C; Sideridis, Georgios D; Huntington, Noelle et al. (2016) Language Differences at 12 Months in Infants Who Develop Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 46:899-909
Northrup, Jessie B; Iverson, Jana M (2015) Vocal Coordination During Early Parent-Infant Interactions Predicts Language Outcome in Infant Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Infancy 20:523-547
Parladé, Meaghan V; Iverson, Jana M (2015) The Development of Coordinated Communication in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 45:2218-34

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