Head circumference as an early predictor of autism symptoms in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder.


Journal Article

Siblings of children with autism have an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As children with autism often exhibit an atypical trajectory of head circumference (HC) growth, HC may be an indicator of vulnerability to autism. This study investigated whether infant siblings of children with ASD (n = 77) with an atypical trajectory of HC growth were more likely than those without an atypical HC trajectory to develop autism symptoms. Results showed that infants who had larger HC at 12 months, and whose HC growth rate decelerated more rapidly between 12 and 24 months were more likely to exhibit autism symptoms than infants with more typical HC trajectories. Among infant siblings of children with autism, atypical HC growth might alert pediatricians to provide screening and/or referral for further evaluation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Elder, LM; Dawson, G; Toth, K; Fein, D; Munson, J

Published Date

  • July 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1104 - 1111

PubMed ID

  • 18058011

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18058011

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0162-3257

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10803-007-0495-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States