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Early recognition of children with autism: A study of first birthday home videotapes


Coded home videotapes of 11 autistic and 11 normally developing children's first year birthday parties for social, affective, joint attention, and communicative behaviors and for specific autistic symptoms. Autistic children displayed significantly fewer social and joint attention behaviors and significantly more autistic symptoms. In combination, four behaviors correctly classified 10 of 11 autistic children and 10 of 11 normal children. These behaviors consisted of pointing, showing objects, looking at others, and orienting to name.

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Correspondence to Geraldine Dawson.

Additional information

This article fulfilled part of the first author's requirements for a master's degree in clinical child psychology at the University of Washington. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the families who participated in this study and the contribution of Dr. Nuhad Dinno who made the clinical diagnostic judgments. We also thank the staff at the TEACCH Division, University of North Carolina, for their help in obtaining videotapes. Zanny Milo, Peg Terp, Katherine McClean, Paul Castelloe, Laura Grofer, Karin Frey, and Starla Hoback contributed to other aspects of the study's completion.

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Osterling, J., Dawson, G. Early recognition of children with autism: A study of first birthday home videotapes. J Autism Dev Disord 24, 247–257 (1994).

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  • School Psychology
  • Early Recognition
  • Normal Child
  • Autistic Child
  • Joint Attention