Previous studies have suggested that infant siblings of children with ASD have early delays in motor development. The Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) designed a project, led by Dr. Jana Iverson, to examine whether any specific type of motor delay might be an early marker for ASD. The BSRC database, which contains longitudinal data from 6 months of age to 3 years for infants with and without an older sibling with ASD, was used to identify 625 children from 8 research sites who had the relevant assessments. Fine and gross motor skills on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning were examined at 6 months to determine whether they predicted ASD symptom severity at 36 months. Results revealed that fine motor skills overall were lower in the infant siblings of children with ASD than the comparison group, and were associated with later ASD diagnosis, but no specific motor signs predicted an ASD diagnosis. Fun fact: Wendy is a member of the BSRC and is a co-author on this paper.
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