The overall UW ACE proposal is centered on a comprehensive developmental model of risk, risk processes, symptom emergence, and adaptation in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to this model, early autism risk factors (genetic/familial and environmental) lead to risk processes, namely altered patterns of interaction between the child and his/her environment, which contribute to the abnormal development of neural circuitry and atypical behaviors. Project III has two broad goals: in a study of infant siblings of children with autism, we will (1) determine the predictive validity of measures of early prelinguistic abilities as risk indices for language impairment and ASD, and (2) examine the influence of early intervention on the development of speech perception, speech preferences, and acquisition of speech in infants at risk for ASD. Our studies of early speech perception have demonstrated predictive relationships between the proposed measures of basic language perception/production and later measures of language and vocabulary in typically developing (TD) infants. In addition, our studies of preschool age children found critical differences in measures of phonetic discrimination and social communication between children with ASD and children with typical development and developmental delay. Based on converging lines of research with TD children and children with ASD, the proposed measures of speech production and linguistic and social responsiveness to speech are hypothesized to be extremely sensitive to the degree of risk for autism. This project directly addresses goals outlined in the NIH Autism Research Matrix: (1) Identification of the biological and/or behavioral risk indices in infancy for the development of autism and autism-related symptoms, such as language and social impairments;(2) identification of individual characteristics that predict response to behavioral treatment;and (3) provision of evidence that cases of autism might be secondarily prevented through early identification and early treatment. It will also impact theories of speech and language development, and general theories of developmental neuroscience. The methods available to this laboratory, and the set of questions posed to examine infant speech development, form a broad and very powerful set of tools to advance our knowledge in these fields.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Washington
United States
Zip Code
Jones, E J H; Dawson, G; Webb, S J (2018) Sensory hypersensitivity predicts enhanced attention capture by faces in the early development of ASD. Dev Cogn Neurosci 29:11-20
Jones, Emily J H; Venema, Kaitlin; Earl, Rachel K et al. (2017) Infant social attention: an endophenotype of ASD-related traits? J Child Psychol Psychiatry 58:270-281
Jones, Emily J H; Dawson, Geraldine; Kelly, Jean et al. (2017) Parent-delivered early intervention in infants at risk for ASD: Effects on electrophysiological and habituation measures of social attention. Autism Res 10:961-972
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
Webb, Sara Jane; Garrison, Michelle M; Bernier, Raphael et al. (2017) Severity of ASD symptoms and their correlation with the presence of copy number variations and exposure to first trimester ultrasound. Autism Res 10:472-484
Zhu, Zuobin; Lu, Xitong; Yuan, Dejian et al. (2017) Close genetic relationships between a spousal pair with autism-affected children and high minor allele content in cases in autism-associated SNPs. Genomics 109:9-15
Faja, Susan; Dawson, Geraldine; Aylward, Elizabeth et al. (2016) Early event-related potentials to emotional faces differ for adults with autism spectrum disorder and by serotonin transporter genotype. Clin Neurophysiol 127:2436-47
Messinger, Daniel S; Young, Gregory S; Webb, Sara Jane et al. (2016) Commentary: sex difference differences? A reply to Constantino. Mol Autism 7:31
Jones, E J H; Venema, K; Earl, R et al. (2016) Reduced engagement with social stimuli in 6-month-old infants with later autism spectrum disorder: a longitudinal prospective study of infants at high familial risk. J Neurodev Disord 8:7
Neuhaus, Emily; Jones, Emily J H; Barnes, Karen et al. (2016) The Relationship Between Early Neural Responses to Emotional Faces at Age 3 and Later Autism and Anxiety Symptoms in Adolescents with Autism. J Autism Dev Disord 46:2450-63

Showing the most recent 10 out of 66 publications