Broader Autism Phenotype in Parents of Autistic Children: Reality or Myth?
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- Scheeren, A.M. & Stauder, J.E.A. J Autism Dev Disord (2008) 38: 276. doi:10.1007/s10803-007-0389-x
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The finding that relatives of individuals with autism show mild autistic traits is referred to as the broader autism phenotype (BAP). In the current study, 25 parents with a child with high-functioning autism and 25 parents with typically developed children were compared on: (1) the Block Design Test, (2) the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), and (3) a reaction time task to examine reflexive covert visual orienting to social (eyes) and non-social (arrows) cues. The parent groups were scored similar on the Block Design Test and the AQ. However, fathers with an autistic child demonstrated a different reaction time pattern and responded slower on the social cues than control fathers. These results partly support and further elaborate on the BAP in parents with an autistic child.