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01-07-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2015

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 7/2015

The Development of Coordinated Communication in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 7/2015
Meaghan V. Parladé, Jana M. Iverson
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This article is based on a dissertation submitted to the University of Pittsburgh in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Portions of these data were presented at the 2011 Annual International Meeting for Autism Research, San Diego, CA; the 2012 Annual International Meeting for Autism Research, Toronto, ON, Canada; and the 2013 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Seattle, WA.


This study evaluated the extent to which developmental change in coordination of social communication in early infancy differentiates children eventually diagnosed with ASD from those not likely to develop the disorder. A prospective longitudinal design was used to compare nine infants at heightened risk for ASD (HR) later diagnosed with ASD, to 13 HR infants with language delay, 28 HR infants with no diagnosis, and 30 low risk infants. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed that ASD infants exhibited significantly slower growth in coordinations overall and in gestures coordinated with vocalizations, even relative to HR infants with language delay. Disruption in the development of gesture–vocalization coordinations may result in negative cascading effects that adversely impact later social and linguistic development.

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