Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1104–1111

Head Circumference as an Early Predictor of Autism Symptoms in Younger Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors

  • Lauren M. Elder
    • Department of Psychology, Autism CenterUniversity of Washington
    • Department of Psychology, Autism CenterUniversity of Washington
    • Department of Psychiatry, Autism CenterUniversity of Washington
  • Karen Toth
    • Children’s Hospital
  • Deborah Fein
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Connecticut
  • Jeff Munson
    • Department of Psychiatry, Autism CenterUniversity of Washington
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-007-0495-9

Cite this article as:
Elder, L.M., Dawson, G., Toth, K. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2008) 38: 1104. doi:10.1007/s10803-007-0495-9

Abstract

Siblings of children with autism have an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As children with autism often exhibit an atypical trajectory of head circumference (HC) growth, HC may be an indicator of vulnerability to autism. This study investigated whether infant siblings of children with ASD (n = 77) with an atypical trajectory of HC growth were more likely than those without an atypical HC trajectory to develop autism symptoms. Results showed that infants who had larger HC at 12 months, and whose HC growth rate decelerated more rapidly between 12 and 24 months were more likely to exhibit autism symptoms than infants with more typical HC trajectories. Among infant siblings of children with autism, atypical HC growth might alert pediatricians to provide screening and/or referral for further evaluation.

Keywords

AutismHead circumferenceInfant siblings

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007