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The Development of Younger Siblings of Children With Autism Now at 10 Years of Age

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified June 2008 by Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Information provided by:
Shaare Zedek Medical Center Identifier:
First received: June 10, 2008
Last updated: June 11, 2008
Last verified: June 2008

Background: Autism is a complex developmental disorder involving difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, social-emotional functioning, and markedly restricted interests and activities. Strong evidence from research conducted with family members of children with autism supports the role of genetic factors in its etiology. Thus, some family members are characterized by the broad autism phenotype (BAP) which involves a clinical picture of milder but qualitatively similar difficulties.

Working hypothesis and aims: Researchers recently initiated prospective longitudinal studies investigating the early developmental profiles of young siblings of children with autism (SIBS-A). Such longitudinal SIBS-A study is currently conducted at the Hebrew University and includes the oldest siblings studied to date. Our main aim is to identify siblings who manifest any autism or BAP characteristics.

Methods: Two groups, SIBS-A (n = 42) and siblings of children with typical development (SIBS-TD, n = 62), were seen at ages 4, 14, 24, 36, 54 months and 7 years. We plan to continue the investigation at age 10 years, a time when school related abilities and social/emotional competences are more consolidated and to investigate the developmental trajectories of children's abilities from age 4 months to 10 years using growth curve analyses.

Expected results: We expect that compared to SIBS-TD, significantly more 10-year-old SIBS-A will display difficulties related to ASD or BAP related difficulties. We also expect to identify different patterns of stability and/or change in the development of children's abilities from age 4 months to 10 years, between the two groups.

Importance: This study provides a useful approach for the examination of the main research hypothesis regarding the development of SIBS-A. One of the main advantages of using the growth curve analysis is the identification of early predictive markers for future development.

Probable implications to Medicine: This research has significant implication for early identification and the search into the causes of autism and the BAP, as well as for implementation of early treatment and prevention programs. By highlighting expressions of ASD and the BAP in siblings, we may identify early clinically predictive behavioral markers associated with their onset and contribute to the investigation of underlying genetics mechanisms.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The Development of Younger Siblings of Children With Autism Now at 10 Years of Age

Further study details as provided by Shaare Zedek Medical Center:

Estimated Enrollment: 104
Study Start Date: September 2008
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2011
Estimated Primary Completion Date: September 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Siblings of children with Autism
Siblings of children with typical development


Ages Eligible for Study:   10 Years to 11 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

The participants in the SIBS-A and SIBS-TD groups, who are now reaching the age of 10 years, participated in the longitudinal study and were seen at the ages of 4, 14, 24, 36, 54 months and 7 years. The SIBS-A group (n = 42) comprises children who have an older sibling with autism. All probands were diagnosed using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Lord, Rutter, DiLavore & Risi, 2002) and/or the Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised (ADI-R; Lord, Rutter, & Le Couteur, 1994). Families were recruited through treatment centers, special schools, the national organization for children with autism in Israel, and through families of children with autism.

The SIBS-TD group (n = 62) comprises children who have an older sibling with typical development and who participated in the longitudinal study. Families were recruited from maternity wards in Jerusalem. (more information is available in Yirmiya et al., 2006).


Inclusion Criteria:

Inclusion criteria for the SIBS:

  • A group comprised intact families who had a child with autism.

Inclusion criteria for families in the SIBS-TD group:

  • Intact families with a newborn and an older child who exhibited typical development with no history of any learning and/or emotional difficulties according to parental report
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  More Information

Responsible Party: Prof. Ruth Shalev, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Neurology, Pediatric Identifier: NCT00695812     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Siblings Autism.ctil
Study First Received: June 10, 2008
Last Updated: June 11, 2008

Keywords provided by Shaare Zedek Medical Center:
Neurodevelopmental disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Broader autism phenotype
Cognitive language and social emotional development
to identify siblings who manifest any autism or broader autism phenotype characteristics

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Autistic Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 21, 2017