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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2015 Jun;54(6):470-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.03.014. Epub 2015 Mar 28.

Can parents' concerns predict autism spectrum disorder? A prospective study of high-risk siblings from 6 to 36 months of age.

Author information

1
University of Alberta and the Autism Research Centre in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: sacrey@ualberta.ca.
2
University of Alberta and the Autism Research Centre in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
3
Dalhousie University/IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
4
Bloorview Research Institute in Toronto; University of Toronto.
5
University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
6
University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
7
Kinark Child and Family Services in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
8
Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.
9
University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario.
10
Bloorview Research Institute in Toronto.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This prospective study characterized parents' concerns about infants at high risk for developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD; each with an older sibling with ASD) at multiple time points in the first 2 years, and assessed their relation to diagnostic outcome at 3 years.

METHOD:

Parents of low-risk controls (LR) and high-risk infant siblings (HR) reported any concerns that they had regarding their children's development between 6 and 24 months of age regarding sleep, diet, sensory behavior, gross/fine motor skills, repetitive movements, communication, communication regression, social skills, play, and behavioral problems, using a parent concern form designed for this study. At 3 years of age, an independent, gold-standard diagnostic assessment for ASD was conducted for all participants.

RESULTS:

As predicted, parents of HR children who received an ASD diagnosis reported more concerns than parents of LR and HR children who did not have ASD. The total number of concerns predicted a subsequent diagnosis of ASD as early as 12 months within the HR group. Concerns regarding sensory behavior and motor development predicted a subsequent diagnosis of ASD as early as 6 months, whereas concerns about social communication and repetitive behaviors did not predict diagnosis of ASD until after 12 months.

CONCLUSION:

Parent-reported concerns can improve earlier recognition of ASD in HR children.

KEYWORDS:

autism spectrum disorder; high-risk siblings; parent concern; prospective

PMID:
26004662
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaac.2015.03.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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