CART Study of Siblings of Children with Autism

Study Detail

The major aim of this study is to identify group differences in early life in children who are at risk of autism and autism spectrum disorder because they have an older sibling who has been diagnosed with autism. The study is taking place at two sites: the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA and the MIND Institute at UC Davis. As of June 2006, 230 siblings of autistic children (109 at UCLA and 121 at UC Davis) and 131 infant siblings without a family history of autism (63 at UCLA and 68 at UC Davis) have been recruited and tested every 6 months, starting at 6, 12, or 18 months and continuing until 36 months of age. We propose to recruit an additional 100 infant siblings of children with autism at UCLA and to extend the follow-up of the current sample to 5-years of age.

The characteristics of the children selected for study were chosen on two grounds, either because:

  • these characteristics and skills are known to be important for the development of typical children or
  • because these characteristics and skills reliably separate children with autism from children with other kinds of delay.
More information and application
Target audience: 

Families may be eligible if they have:

  • a child with autism, and
  • an infant less than 6 months of age.

Developmental assessments are conducted at 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 60 months of age. 


Participants receive free infant developmental  assessments of

  • Language skills
  • Motor skills
  • Play
  • Imitation
  • Social Responsiveness


Families also receive a written summary of each evaluation, and $40 for each infant assessment conducted at UCLA.

Contact details: 

Call Marian Sigman's research staff at (310) 825-3478

or send e-mail to:

Review and Approval
Renewal Date: 
2011, February 20