Speech Therapy

Speech and Language Delay in Siblings

According to a new study, conducted by the researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine, speech and language delay in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) could also possibly affect their siblings. The study tries to enhance on the previous researches with regards to siblings of autism affected children.

Speech and Language Delay in Siblings: The study suggests that siblings would also possess language delays along with other mild traits of the disorder. The study once again reiterates the affect of autism spectrum disorders in girls.

  • When compared to children with no autism affected member in the family, children with at least one person affected with this disorder (especially siblings) have a higher chance of developing this syndrome.
  • According to John N Constantino, one of the researchers, siblings of children with ASD might not possess the disorder itself. But, there is every chance that the genes responsible for the disorder are prevalent which cause the delay in speech and language.
  • The influence of genes would vary among different families. One family with an autistic child would not have any other affected while some other families can find siblings with other quantitative traits of autism.

The Study: The data for this study has been taken from around 1235 families involving 3000 children.

  • One of the findings of the study suggests that at least 1 out of 5 siblings has had delays in language and speech in childhood though they were not diagnosed of any ASD.
  • The research also concluded that girls were also vulnerable to ASD and a few female siblings exhibited traits of the disorder while a few were fully diagnosed.
  • Another interesting finding of this study was the ratio of boys affected to the girls affected (for every 3 affected males there were 2 affected females).
  • The study also reveals that siblings who only exhibit mild traits are not diagnosed of autism due to the non-meeting of the criteria that is classified as autistic. Yet, they would still be experiencing delays in language and problems in speech.

Speech and language delay in siblings of children affected by ASD are prevalent but for some evident reason they may not develop into a full fledged disorder.

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