Original paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 25-36

First online:

Stereotyped Motor Behaviors Associated with Autism in High-risk Infants: A Pilot Videotape Analysis of a Sibling Sample

  • Alvin LohAffiliated withThe Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
  • , Teesta SomanAffiliated withThe Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
  • , Jessica BrianAffiliated withThe Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
  • , Susan E. BrysonAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Psychology, Dalhousie University
  • , Wendy RobertsAffiliated withThe Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
  • , Peter SzatmariAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University
  • , Isabel M. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Psychology, Dalhousie University
  • , Lonnie ZwaigenbaumAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Section of Neuroscience, University of Alberta Email author 

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Abstract

This study examined motor behaviors in a longitudinal cohort of infant siblings of children with autism. Stereotypic movements and postures occurring during standardized observational assessments at 12 and 18 months were coded from videotapes. Participants included eight infant siblings later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a random sample of nine non-diagnosed siblings, and 15 controls. Videos were coded blind to diagnostic group. At 12 and 18 months the ASD group “arm waved” more frequently and at 18 months, one posture (“hands to ears”) was more frequently observed in the ASD and non-diagnosed group compared to the controls. Overall, the siblings subsequently diagnosed with ASD and the comparison groups had considerable overlap in their repertoires of stereotyped behaviors.

Keywords

Autism Longitudinal study Stereotyped motor behaviors Early identification Infants