Pragmatic language and school related linguistic abilities in siblings of children with autism

J Autism Dev Disord. 2011 Jun;41(6):750-60. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-1096-6.


Siblings of probands with autism spectrum disorders are at higher risk for developing the broad autism phenotype (BAP). We compared the linguistic abilities (i.e., pragmatic language, school achievements, and underling reading processes) of 35 school-age siblings of children with autism (SIBS-A) to those of 42 siblings of children with typical development. Results indicated lower pragmatic abilities in a subgroup of SIBS-A identified with BAP related difficulties (SIBS-A-BAP) whereas school achievements and reading processes were intact. Furthermore, among SIBS-A-BAP, significant negative correlations emerged between the severity scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and full and verbal IQ scores. These results are discussed in the context of the developmental trajectories of SIBS-A and in relation to the BAP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / genetics*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Learning Disabilities* / genetics
  • Learning Disabilities* / psychology
  • Linguistics
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Reading*
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools
  • Siblings / psychology*
  • Students / psychology*