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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2013 Feb;22(1):25-39. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0145). Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Communicative gesture use in infants with and without autism: a retrospective home video study.

Author information

  • 1The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. lwatson@med.unc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The authors aimed to compare gesture use in infants with autism with gesture use in infants with other developmental disabilities (DD) or typical development (TD).

METHOD:

Children with autism (n = 43), DD (n = 30), and TD (n = 36) were recruited at ages 2 to 7 years. Parents provided home videotapes of children in infancy. Staff compiled video samples for 2 age intervals (9-12 and 15-18 months) and coded samples for frequency of social interaction (SI), behavior regulation (BR), and joint attention (JA) gestures.

RESULTS:

At 9-12 months, infants with autism were less likely to use JA gestures than infants with DD or TD, and less likely to use BR gestures than infants with TD. At 15-18 months, infants with autism were less likely than infants with DD to use SI or JA gestures, and less likely than infants with TD to use BR, SI, or JA gestures. Among infants able to use gestures, infants with autism used fewer BR gestures than those with TD at 9-12 months, and fewer JA gestures than infants with DD or TD at 15-18 months.

CONCLUSION:

Differences in gesture use in infancy have implications for early autism screening, assessment, and intervention.

PMID:
22846878
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3574175
Free PMC Article

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