Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 894–902

Social Smiling and Its Components in High-Risk Infant Siblings Without Later ASD Symptomatology

  • Caitlin McMahon Nichols
  • Lisa V. Ibañez
  • Jennifer H. Foss-Feig
  • Wendy L. Stone
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-013-1944-2

Cite this article as:
Nichols, C.M., Ibañez, L.V., Foss-Feig, J.H. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2014) 44: 894. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1944-2

Abstract

Impaired affective expression, including social smiling, is common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and may represent an early marker for ASD in their infant siblings (Sibs-ASD). Social smiling and its component behaviors (eye contact and non-social smiling) were examined at 15 months in Sibs-ASD who demonstrated later ASD symptomatology (Sibs-ASD/AS), those who did not (Sibs-ASD/NS), and low-risk controls (Sibs-TD). Both Sibs-ASD subgroups demonstrated lower levels of social smiling than Sibs-TD, suggesting that early social smiling may reflect elevated genetic vulnerability rather than a specific marker for ASD. Only the Sibs-ASD/AS demonstrated less eye contact and non-social smiling than Sibs-TD, suggesting that different processes, threshold effects, or protective factors may underlie social smiling development in the two Sibs-ASD subgroups.

Keywords

AutismHigh-risk siblingsInfantsSocial smiling

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caitlin McMahon Nichols
    • 1
    • 4
  • Lisa V. Ibañez
    • 2
    • 5
  • Jennifer H. Foss-Feig
    • 1
    • 6
  • Wendy L. Stone
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Human DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Beacon Assessment CenterBeacon ABA ServicesMilfordUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA