Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 158–170 | Cite as

Variation in Vocal-Motor Development in Infant Siblings of Children with Autism

  • Jana M. Iverson
  • Robert H. Wozniak
Original Paper


In this study we examined early motor, vocal, and communicative development in a group of younger siblings of children diagnosed with autism (Infant Siblings). Infant Siblings and no-risk comparison later-born infants were videotaped at home with a primary caregiver each month from 5 to 14 months, with follow-up at 18 months. As a group, Infant Siblings were delayed in the onset of early developmental milestones and spent significantly less time in a greater number of postures, suggestive of relative postural instability. In addition, they demonstrated attenuated patterns of change in rhythmic arm activity around the time of reduplicated babble onset; and they were highly likely to exhibit delayed language development at 18 months.


Motor development Vocalization Language development Infant siblings 



This research was supported by a Language and Communication Pilot Study Grant from the National Alliance for Autism Research and by NIH R01 HD41607 to JMI. We thank Diane Williams, Nancy Minshew, P.J. McCarroll, and the NICHD-funded University of Pittsburgh–Carnegie Mellon Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism Research (HD35469) for supporting assessments of older siblings and assistance with participant recruitment; Beth Whitehouse for assistance with participant recruitment; Kelly Aller, Carin Bremer, Erin Koterba, Tracy Nyerges, Meg Parladé, and Emily Reid for assistance with data collection; and members of the Infant Communication Lab for assistance with data collection, coding, and establishment of intercoder reliability. Special thanks are due to the families and infants who participated in the research. This work could not have been conducted without their dedicated and enthusiastic involvement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBryn Mawr CollegeBryn MawrUSA

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