Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 12, pp 2984–2989 | Cite as

Brief Report: Do the Nature of Communication Impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorders Relate to the Broader Autism Phenotype in Parents?

  • Lauren J. Taylor
  • Murray T. Maybery
  • John Wray
  • David Ravine
  • Anna Hunt
  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
Brief Report


Extensive empirical evidence indicates that the lesser variant of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) involves a communication impairment that is similar to, but milder than, the deficit in clinical ASD. This research explored the relationship between the broader autism phenotype (BAP) among parents, an index of genetic liability for ASD, and proband communication difficulties. ASD probands with at least one BAP parent (identified using the Autism Spectrum Quotient) had greater structural and pragmatic language difficulties (assessed using the Children’s Communication Checklist-2) than ASD probands with no BAP parent. This finding provides support for the position that genetic liability for ASD is associated with increased communication difficulties across structural and pragmatic domains.


Heritable language phenotype Broader autism phenotype Communication impairment 



Lauren Taylor is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award, and Andrew Whitehouse by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (#1004065).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren J. Taylor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Murray T. Maybery
    • 1
  • John Wray
    • 3
  • David Ravine
    • 4
  • Anna Hunt
    • 2
  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Neurocognitive Developmental Unit, School of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.State Child Development Centre, Child and Adolescent Health ServicePrincess Margaret Hospital for ChildrenPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Pathology and Laboratory MedicinePerthAustralia

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