Sunday, April 22, 2007

Autistic Children's Siblings More Likely to Have Developmental Disorders

There's an interesting article in today's Haaretz (sorry, couldn't find an English version) about the results of a new study conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and UCLA. According to the study, siblings of autistic children are more likely to have delays in their motor, cognitive and verbal development than children who do not have autistic siblings. These delays usually start at around 4 months of age, but most children catch up by the time they are four and a half years old. Some children may have learning disabilities at an older age.

The explanation for this is that these children share some genes that cause autism, and thus share some traits that autistics have, though fewer and less severe.

The study was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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