Supporting Families of Infants At-Risk for ASD Identified Through Community Screening and Surveillance

  • Linda R. WatsonEmail author
  • Sallie W. Nowell
  • Elizabeth R. Crais
  • Grace T. Baranek
  • Linn Wakeford
  • Lauren Turner-Brown
Part of the Autism and Child Psychopathology Series book series (ACPS)


Screening tools have given us the opportunity to identify risk symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in infants prior to the full expression of symptoms when a definitive diagnosis can be made. Identification of ASD risk via community screening and surveillance is particularly important for the estimated 89% of infants without known genetic risk factors (such as an older sibling with ASD) who will eventually be diagnosed with ASD. Based on the application of a transactional model of development to infants at-risk for ASD, parent-implemented very early interventions have the potential to attenuate the expression of ASD symptoms in these infants and improve outcomes. In this chapter, we will (1) discuss what is known about identification of infants who are at-risk for ASD through community screening, (2) highlight the research to date examining use of parent-implemented very early interventions for infants who were identified as at-risk for ASD via community screening, and (3) offer insight into some of the advantages and obstacles in intervening with this population based on our own research experiences and those of our colleagues who have done similar work.


Infants Autism Intervention Screening Parent 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda R. Watson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sallie W. Nowell
    • 1
  • Elizabeth R. Crais
    • 1
  • Grace T. Baranek
    • 2
  • Linn Wakeford
    • 2
  • Lauren Turner-Brown
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Speech and Hearing SciencesThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational TherapyThe University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.TEACCH Autism ProgramUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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