Toddlers

Toddlers With Autism Show Improved Social Skills Following Targeted Intervention

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
December 9, 2010
Abstract: 

Targeting the core social deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in early intervention programs yielded sustained improvements in social and communication skills even in very young children who have ASD, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Autistic Toddlers Prefer to Gaze at Geometric Patterns

Source: 
Bloomberg Business Week
Date Published: 
September 7, 2010
Abstract: 

Eye-tracking study reveals that a toddler's infatuation with geometric patterns instead of social interactions such as dancing, jumping and smiling could be an early sign of autism.

On Time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes

Source: 
Pediatrics, Smith and Woods
Date Published: 
June 2010
Year Published: 
2010

Analysis determined whether children who received recommended vaccines on time during the first year of life had different neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years of age as compared with children with delayed receipt or nonreceipt of these vaccines. Their data showed timely vaccination was associated with better performance on 12 outcomes in univariate testing and remained associated with better performance for 2 outcomes in multivariable analyses. No statistically significant differences favored delayed receipt. In secondary analyses, children with the greatest vaccine exposure during the first 7 months of life performed better than children with the least vaccine exposure on 15 outcomes in univariate testing; these differences did not persist in multivariable analyses. No statistically significant differences favored the less vaccinated children.

Blinking Could Detect Autism

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
May 21, 2010
Abstract: 

The researchers tracked eye movements and blinks in 41 2-year-olds with autism and 52 healthy controls while the children watched a short movie of two toddlers on a playground. Both groups on average blinked about five times per minute. But they differed significantly in how their blinking lined up with the content of the movie.

Healthy toddlers refrained from blinking as they watched scenes with high emotional content, such as when the toddler-actors fought about a toy. Toddlers with autism, in contrast, were just as likely to blink during emotional scenes as during dull ones.

Longitude Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Cortical Development Through Early Childhood in Autism

Source: 
Journal of Neuroscience, Courchesne et al
Date Published: 
March 2010
Year Published: 
2010

The first longitudinal study of brain growth in toddlers at the time symptoms of autism are becoming clinically apparent using structural MRI scans at multiple time points beginning at 1.5 years up to 5 years of age. They collected 193 scans on 41 toddlers who received a confirmed diagnosis of autistic disorder at approximately 48 months of age and 44 typically developing controls. By 2.5 years of age, both cerebral gray and white matter were significantly enlarged in toddlers with autistic disorder, with the most severe enlargement occurring in frontal, temporal, and cingulate cortices. In the longitudinal analyses, which they accounted for age and gender effect, we found that all regions (cerebral gray, cerebral white, frontal gray, temporal gray, cingulate gray, and parietal gray) except occipital gray developed at an abnormal growth rate in toddlers with autistic disorder that was mainly characterized by a quadratic age effect. Females with autistic disorder displayed a more pronounced abnormal growth profile in more brain regions than males with the disorder. Given that overgrowth clearly begins before 2 years of age, future longitudinal studies would benefit from inclusion of even younger populations as well as further characterization of genetic and other biomarkers to determine the underlying neuropathological processes causing the onset of autistic symptoms.

Randomized, Controlled, Trial of an Intervention for Toddlers with Autism: The Early Start Denver Model

Source: 
Pediatrics, Dawson, Rogers, Munson, Smith, Winter, Greeson, Donaldson, and Varley
Date Published: 
January 2010
Year Published: 
2010

The first randomized, controlled trial to demonstrate the efficacy of a comprehensive developmental behavioral intervention for toddlers with ASD for improving cognitive and adaptive behavior and reducing severity of ASD diagnosis. Results of this study underscore the importance of early detection of and intervention in autism.

Early Intervention for Toddlers With Autism Highly Effective, Study Finds

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
November 30, 2009
Abstract: 

A novel early intervention program for very young children with autism -- some as young as 18 months -- is effective for improving IQ, language ability and social interaction, a comprehensive new study has found.

Two-year-olds with autism orient to non-social contingencies rather than biological motion

Source: 
Nature, Klin, Lin, Gorrindo, Ramsay, Jones
Date Published: 
March 2009
Year Published: 
2009

Typically developing human infants preferentially attend to biological motion within the first days of life. This ability is highly conserved across species and is believed to be critical for filial attachment and for detection of predators. The neural underpinnings of biological motion perception are overlapping with brain regions involved in perception of basic social signals such as facial expression and gaze direction, and preferential attention to biological motion is seen as a precursor to the capacity for attributing intentions to others. However, in a serendipitous observation, we recently found that an infant with autism failed to recognize point-light displays of biological motion, but was instead highly sensitive to the presence of a non-social, physical contingency that occurred within the stimuli by chance. This observation raised the possibility that perception of biological motion may be altered in children with autism from a very early age, with cascading consequences for both social development and the lifelong impairments in social interaction that are a hallmark of autism spectrum disorders. Here we show that two-year-olds with autism fail to orient towards point-light displays of biological motion, and their viewing behavior when watching these point-light displays can be explained instead as a response to non-social, physical contingencies—physical continimplications for understanding the altered neurodevelopmental trajectory of brain specialization in autism.

Infant and Toddler Oral and Manual Motor Skills Predict Later Speech Fluency in Autism

Source: 
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Gernsbacher, Sauer et al
Date Published: 
2008

 

Infant and toddler oral-motor and manual-motor skills inter-correlated significantly, distinguished autistic children from typically developing children, and distinguished autistic children whose current-day speech was minimally fluent, moderately fluent, and highly fluent. These results were corroborated by analysis of historical home video and verified with current-day assessment.

Absence of Preferential Looking to the Eyes of Approaching Adults Predicts Level of Social Disability in 2-year old toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Archives of General Psychiatry, Jones, Carr, et al
Date Published: 
2008

Looking at the eyes of others is important in early social development and in social adaptation throughout one's life span. Our results indicate that in 2-year-old children with autism, this behavior is already derailed, suggesting critical consequences for development but also offering a potential biomarker for quantifying syndrome manifestation at this early age.