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Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0487

Abstract

Social Attention is Measurably and Increasingly Atypical Across the First Six Months in the Broader Autism Phenotype

Rutherford MD

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are different from those without ASD with respect to some aspects of social attention. This difference may have developmental implications, as attention to social information supports both social and cognitive development. This longitudinal study measures early social attention in infants, based on infants’ gaze direction in response to faces, eyes, and animate motion, and compares a group of infants who have a sibling with ASD to a control group. Infant siblings show social preferences significantly less strongly than the control group as early as six months of age. Furthermore, results reveal diverging developmental trajectories, as group differences increase over the first half of the first year of life.

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