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Abstract

Research on early biomarkers and behavioral precursors of autism has led to interventions initiated during the infant period that could potentially change the course of infant brain and behavioral development in autism. This article integrates neuroscience and clinical perspectives to explore how knowledge of infant brain and behavioral development can inform the design of infant autism interventions. Focusing on infants ≤12 months, we review studies on behavioral precursors of autism and their neural correlates and clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of infant autism interventions. We then consider how contemporary developmental social neuroscience theories of autism can shed light on the therapeutic strategies used in infant autism interventions and offer a new perspective that emphasizes improving child outcome and well-being by enhancing infant–environment fit. Finally, we offer recommendations for future research that incorporates brain-based measures to inform individualized approaches to intervention and discuss ethical issues raised by infant autism interventions. Readers are referred to for a glossary of terms used in this article.

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2023-12-11
2024-06-24
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