Intersubjective disruptions and caregiver-infant interaction in early Autistic Disorder

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The objective of this study was to describe intersubjective attitudes in infants who are later diagnosed with autism and to provide information about caregiver's behaviors during early spontaneous interactions. Interactive sequences from 42 home-movies (HM) from the first 18 months of life of three groups of children - non-regressive Autistic Disorder (AD; n. 15), Mental Retardation (MR; n. 12), or Typical Development (TD; n. 15) - were organized in three semester of age (T1; T2; T3) and analyzed through the Infant and Caregiver Behavior Scale (ICBS) using the Observer 4.0®. Rate and duration of ICBS items were explored at each time by Anova with group as between factor. Discriminant analysis was also used. TD, compared to both AD and MR, had higher score at T1 on the duration of 'Syntony', and at T2 on 'Accepting invitation' and 'Maintaining social engagement'. At T2 'Orienting to name' d9/27/2010ifferentiates TD from AD. At T3 some items differentiate TD from AD while on other items AD shows significant lower scores compared to MR. 'Regulation down' is able to correctly identify between AD and MR both at T1 and at T3. In AD there is a progressive disruption of the temporal structure of moments of interpersonal exchange. Difficulties in intersubjective behaviors are sensitive at an early age and become specific after the first birthday. The less amount of caregiver's 'regulation down' is discussed in relation of the infant's lack of spontaneous intersubjective acts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-417
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Autism
  • Home-movies
  • Intesubjectivity
  • Mental retardation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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