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        Change and Continuity in the Development of Children with Autism
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        Change and Continuity in the Development of Children with Autism
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Abstract

The developmental approach to childhood psychopathology identifies deviations from typical patterns of development and stability of individual characteristics over time, and precursors in early life of later functions. The application of this approach to the social, communicative, and cognitive development of children with autism is discussed. Results from a longitudinal study of children with autism and other developmental disorders are described, indicating that children with autism have stable deficits in joint attention, representational play, and responsiveness to the emotions of others, and that early variations in these abilities are important for concurrent and subsequent language development and for peer engagement many years later.