20% siblings of the autistic show symptoms at 18 months

A new study has revealed that about 20 percent of younger siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) developed the condition by age 18 months to 3 years.

ANI| Updated: Oct 21, 2014, 14:44 PM IST

Washington: A new study has revealed that about 20 percent of younger siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) developed the condition by age 18 months to 3 years.

Lead author Katarzyna Chawarska, associate professor in the Yale Child Study Center and the Department of Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, pooled data from eight sites participating in the Autism Speaks Baby Siblings Research Consortium found that about 50 percent of siblings diagnosed at 18 months, developed a combination of poor eye contact and lack of communicative gestures or imaginative play.

It was also found that in a small percentage of those later diagnosed with ASD had relatively normal eye contact, but they began to display early signs of repetitive behaviors and have limited non-verbal communication skills.

Chawarska said that detecting early symptoms may be helpful in predicting the diagnostic outcome and linking these developmental dynamics with underlying neurobiology.

This finding may advance the understanding of causes of ASD and further efforts to personalize treatment for ASD by tailoring it to specific clinical profiles and their developmental dynamics.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.