Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 2108–2119 | Cite as

Acoustic Properties of Cries in 12-Month Old Infants at High-Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Lisa M. Unwin
  • Ildiko Bruz
  • Murray T. Maybery
  • Victoria Reynolds
  • Natalie Ciccone
  • Cheryl Dissanayake
  • Martha Hickey
  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
Original Paper


There is preliminary evidence that infant siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have an atypical pattern of cry, characterized by higher fundamental frequency and increased dysphonation. This prospective study collected multiple cry samples of 12-month old siblings of children with ASD (n = 22, ‘high-risk’ group) and 12-month olds with no family history of ASD (n = 27, ‘low risk’ group). While there was no difference between groups in the fundamental frequency or degree of phonation of the cry samples, the duration of each cry unit was significantly shorter in the high-risk siblings (p < .05). The six infant siblings who received a diagnosis of ASD at age two had amongst the shortest recorded cry durations.


Autism spectrum disorders Crying Infant siblings Acoustic properties 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Unwin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ildiko Bruz
    • 3
  • Murray T. Maybery
    • 2
  • Victoria Reynolds
    • 4
    • 5
  • Natalie Ciccone
    • 3
  • Cheryl Dissanayake
    • 6
  • Martha Hickey
    • 7
  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Telethon Kids Institute & School of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Medical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Paediatrics and Child HealthUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  5. 5.School of Psychology and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  6. 6.Olga Tennison Autism Research CentreLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Women’s HospitalUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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