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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Executive functioning, theory of mind, and neurodevelopmental outcomes

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Warren, Zachary

Description

Description

The heritable nature of autism has been borne out by research showing that identical twins and siblings of children with autism are at a greater risk of the disorder than children in the general population. Zachary Warren and his colleagues at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center plan to follow 66 such school-aged siblings to gauge cognitive, language and behavioral outcomes. Siblings of children with autism often show signs of language and social vulnerabilities — at around 16 months old, younger than the age at which autism is typically diagnosed — that may represent early features of autism or broader related disorders. It is clearly important to monitor vulnerable siblings from an early age, but follow-up studies are needed to determine whether these early difficulties tend to persist or can be overcome through maturity or intervention. The researchers plan to address this need by taking advantage of a prior study of early social and emotional development in 1- to 2-year-old siblings of children with autism and age-matched healthy controls. The new study will follow the same children, who are now 5 to 6 years old, over the course of two years, tracking their development in terms of organization, self-control, ability to relate to others, and other cognitive and behavioral functions that are often deficient in children with autism. Warren and colleagues plan to look for relationships between the children's early social and emotional profiles and any social or behavioral difficulties they experience later in life. By comparing their observations in the two groups of siblings, the researchers hope to trace the pathways leading to the social and behavioral difficulties seen in autism spectrum disorders. These findings may prove useful in developing tailored interventions and preventive strategies for at-risk siblings of children with autism.

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

29502

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2008-2011

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4LB. Develop interventions for siblings of people with ASD with the goal of reducing risk recurrence by at least 30% by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $6,700,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Executive functioning, theory of mind, and neurodevelopmental outcomes (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

State/Country

State/Country

Tennessee

Project Number

Project Number

89623

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Executive functioning, theory of mind, and neurodevelopmental outcomes | 118007 | 2009 | 89623
Executive functioning, theory of mind, and neurodevelopmental outcomes | 118007 | 2008 | Project number unavailable
Executive functioning, theory of mind, and neurodevelopmental outcomes | 0 | 2011 | 89623

 
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