Social and Non-Social Orienting in Siblings of Children with ASD and Children with ASD

Allison Twyman, Purdue University


Prior research has demonstrated that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit social orienting deficits. This study expanded on previous research (Dawson et al., 1998; Dawson et al., 2004) by investigating orienting behaviors to social and non-social stimuli and their association with a familial risk of ASD. Four- to six-year-old siblings of children with ASD (n=11) were compared to age- and IQ-matched children with ASD (n=9) and typically developing children (n=27). Siblings of children with ASD were found to orient less to social stimuli than typically developing children. In agreement with previous research, children with ASD also oriented less to social stimuli than typically developing children. No latency differences were found for any groups. Additionally, for all groups, decreased frequency to orient to social stimuli was associated with increased ASD symptomatology. These results suggest orienting deficits are associated with familial risk of ASD.




Keehn, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Speech therapy|Psychology

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