Developmental trajectories of adaptive behavior in autism spectrum disorder: a high‐risk sibling cohort Academic Article uri icon

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  • BackgroundChildren with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience impairments in adaptive behavior.MethodsDevelopmental trajectories of adaptive behavior in ASD were examined in children from high‐risk (siblings of children diagnosed with ASD, n = 403) and low‐risk (no family history of ASD, n = 163) families. Children were assessed prospectively at 12, 18, 24, and 36 months of age using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and underwent a blind independent diagnostic assessment for ASD at 36 months of age.ResultsThe semi‐parametric group‐based modeling approach using standard scores on the Adaptive Behavior Composite revealed three distinct developmental trajectories: (a) Group 1 (21.2% of sample) showed average performance at 12 months and a declining trajectory; (b) Group 2 (52.8% of the sample) showed average performance at 12 months with a slightly declining trajectory; and (c) Group 3 (26.0% of the sample) showed a higher level of adaptive behavior at 12 months and a stable trajectory. The Mullen Scales of Early Learning Early Learning Composite and the Autism Observation Scale for Infants total score at 6 and 12 months predicted trajectory membership.ConclusionsThe results emphasize heterogeneous development associated with ASD and the need for interventions tailored to individual presentations.


  • Sacrey, Lori‐Ann R
  • Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie
  • Bryson, Susan
  • Brian, Jessica
  • Smith, Isabel M
  • Raza, Sarah
  • Roberts, Wendy
  • Szatmari, Peter
  • Vaillancourt, Tracy
  • Roncadin, Caroline
  • Garon, Nancy

publication date

  • June 2019