Skip navigation

Calls to Action

New Findings

Recurrence Rate in Siblings (August 2011)

On August 15th, the BSRC published a paper in Pediatrics which reexamined the recurrence rate of autism in high risk families. It found that in families with one or more children on the autism spectrum, the chances that a baby sibling will develop autism are around 1 in 5, more than double previous estimates of 1 in 10 to 1 in 30. The rate was much higher among younger brothers (1 in 4) than among younger sisters (1 in 9). In families with more than one older child on the spectrum, 1 in 3 infants eventually developed autism. The severity of the older sibling's autism did not affect the risk to younger brothers or sisters, nor did other family attributes such as parental age, ethnicity, or birth order.

In all, the researchers assessed 664 infants, all of whom had at least one older sibling with a verified diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They enrolled infants very early (two-thirds of them before 6 months) before symptoms of autism become obvious. The clinicians then followed the babies through 36 months of age. They used gold standard diagnostic methods and comprehensive assessments performed by expert clinicians. (click here to view the paper in Pediatrics:

Available to Families: Autism Speaks' Research Consortium Guide on Clinical Assessment of Infants (May 2009)

In May, the journal Pediatrics published an article authored by members of Autism Speaks' High Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) to expand on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations on evaluation by primary care providers of 18 and 24 month olds with suspected autism spectrum disorder, and is part of an ongoing effort of the BSRC to share research findings with the clinical community. The paper outlines several early signs of autism that physicians and other health care providers should be aware of, and also identifies potential screening tools that may be used to detect early behavioral indicators. In addition to helping pediatricians understand the needs of children with early warning signs, the paper was meant to help support parents with questions about the development of their own child. Autism Speaks has received special permission to provide families with the complete text of the article. Read more and access a link to the full article here.

Autism: Special Issue on Early Detection (September 2008)

Edited by: Lonnie Zwaigenbaum and Wendy Stone

This special issue of Autism on early detection is most timely. It provides important insights into early development processes and behavioral markers of ASD, extends evaluation of ASD screening tools to younger age groups and explores how coming to terms with the diagnosis can have a positive impact on parent-child interactional style.

More details on this special issue here.

Study Reports Lack of Early Name Response May Be Sign of Autism (April 2007)

A new study, published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, suggests that the failure of a child to respond to his or her name at the age of 12 months may be an early warning sign for autism. Among the authors of the study is Baby Sibs Consortium member Dr. Sally Ozonoff. Read more in our In The News section.

Journal Report: "The Very Early Autism Phenotype" (Janurary 2007) The January 2007 issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders is dedicated to the "The Very Early Autism Phenotype." Review and read ALL articles in this journal at no charge here.

To learn more about this special issue and to read the editorial preface, please click here.


In 2007, members of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) were involved in more than 50 research publications or book chapters which directly related to work in infant sibs or toddlers at risk.

View the 2007 BSRC Publication list here.