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Blind ratings of early symptoms of autism based upon family home movies.

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Département de Neurophysiologie et de Psychopathologie du Développement, University of Tours, France.


Ratings of family home movies of 12 infants (0 to 2 years old) who were later diagnosed as autistic and 12 normal infants were performed by two diagnosis-blind psychiatrists with Infant Behavior Summarized Evaluation scale. The objective was to identify early symptoms of autism and their intensity and frequency before and after 1 year of age. Several pathological types of behavior related to socialization, communication, motility, and attention were noted during the first year of infant life and differentiated autistic and normal groups. These same differentiating behaviors, observed again in the second year, were more intense and associated with other pathological types of behavior, in particular, gaze avoidance, hypoactivity, and absence of emotional expressions. Analysis of the evolution of behavioral pathology in autistic children as a group during the 2 first years of life confirms the persistence of and the increase in some types of abnormality related to socialization, communication, motility, and attention functions. The limitations and values of this study concerning the early identification of autistic symptoms and functional impairments from home movies for diagnosis and establishing individualized treatment program are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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