By Katarzyna Chawarska PhD, Ami Klin PhD, Fred R. Volkmar MD, Michael D. Powers PsyD
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Extra resources for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment
Somewhat paradoxically, those who work with both higher-functioning older individuals with autism and very young infants are impressed not only by the potential for significant developmental change, but by the severity and continuity of difficulties across time and development—for example, in modulation of the human voice in prosody and in the use of eye contact to mediate social interaction (Paul, Augustyn, Klin, & Volkmar, 2005). The ability to observe these early processes without the accompanying overlay of subsequent development will be particularly important.
In the area of restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests (RRBs), impairment refers to the presence of unusual, sometimes maladaptive behaviors that are, at least according to common wisdom, not usually seen in typically developing children. Thus, in order to determine if a child is showing signs of ASD, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what constitutes typical behavior in a child of the same developmental level. As more and more children are being referred for a diagnosis of ASD at very young ages, it has become particularly important to have a comprehensive picture of social and communicative behavior in typically developing infants and toddlers.
Early social and emotional communication in the infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders: An examination of the broad phenotype. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(1), 122–132. , & Volkmar, F. (2007). Autism spectrum disorder in the second year: Stability and change in syndrome expression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(2), 128–138. , & Volkmar, F. (2003). Automatic attention cueing through eye movement in 2-year-old children with autism. Child Development, 74(4), 1108–1122.