Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 171–183

The Development of Young Siblings of Children with Autism from 4 to 54 Months

Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0341-5

Cite this article as:
Gamliel, I., Yirmiya, N. & Sigman, M. J Autism Dev Disord (2007) 37: 171. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0341-5


Cognitive and language skills of 39 siblings of children with autism (SIBS-A) and 39 siblings of typically developing children (SIBS-TD) at ages 4, 14, 24, 36, and 54 months were compared. Twelve of the 39 SIBS-A revealed a delay in cognition and/or language (including one child diagnosed with autism) compared to only two SIBS-TD. Developmental trajectories revealed that the cognitive differences disappeared by age 54 months, but some differences in language ability remained. Thus, most SIBS-A were well-functioning, but some revealed cognitive and/or language difficulties during the preschool years. Even these siblings by and large caught up by the age of 54 months, with receptive and expressive language abilities remaining an area of difficulty for some earlier identified siblings.


Autism Siblings Early phenotype Cognitive skills Language skills 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and School of EducationHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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