Although less pronounced, social, cognitive, and personality characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be present in people who do not meet ASD diagnostic criteria, especially in first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD. Research on these characteristics, referred to as broader autism phenotype (BAP), provides valuable data on potential expressions of autism-specific deficits in the context of family relations. This paper offers a review of research on BAP in siblings of individuals with ASD, focusing on reports regarding social, communication, and cognitive deficits, published from 1993 to 2014. The studies are divided into two groups based on participants’ age: papers on preschool and older siblings of individuals with ASD; and publications on infants at risk for ASD. On the basis of this review, suggestions are offered for further research and its significance for our understanding of the genetic determinants of autism.
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