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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Alisa Opar

Freelance writer, Simons Foundation

Alisa Opar is a California-based science writer and the articles editor at Audubon magazine.

April 2019
Illustration showing people shouting and arguing over large cracks in the ground.

In search of truce in the autism wars

by  /  24 April 2019

The fight between those who define autism as a medical condition and those who see it as a mere difference has reached vitriolic levels. Can the two sides come together to support all autistic people?

February 2019
Hand with key opening door a residence

New group faces backlash over its goals for severe autism

by  /  4 February 2019

A new advocacy group for people with severe autism taps into the deep divide in the community over who should speak for those on the spectrum.

January 2019
Portrait of Matie Ovalle at her home in Chicago.

How to help low-income children with autism

by  /  16 January 2019

Autistic children from low-income families are undercounted and underserved, a gap community leaders are working to bridge.

July 2018
Photo: Two women, a doctor and a woman with autism, sit in a doctor's office. The doctor reads to the woman with autism from an informational packet.

The healthcare system is failing autistic adults

by  /  25 July 2018

Adults on the spectrum frequently have a range of other conditions — but they rarely get the help they need.

October 2017
Photo: A mother and child sitting on the floor reading a book.

Why children with ‘severe autism’ are overlooked by science

by  /  18 October 2017

Children with ‘severe autism’ are the most in need of help, yet the most overlooked in research. A new initiative is making them the primary focus.

January 2017
A surreal portrait of doctors walking out on vibrant tree-limbs, as it were. This represents doctors exploring novel pathways in cancer research.

The curious connection between autism and cancer

by  /  11 January 2017

A surprising number of genes associated with autism also have links to cancer. Does that mean cancer drugs can treat autism?

September 2016
Two parents look at a frame held by a mysterious salesman-like hand. Within the frame, the picture of a glorious horizon. The tone suggests that not everything is as it seems.

The seekers: Why parents try fringe therapies for autism

by  /  21 September 2016

Many parents resort to unproven — even dangerous — alternative treatments for their children’s autism. What drives them?

June 2008

‘Trust hormone’ shows promise as treatment for autism

by  /  25 June 2008

The so-called trust hormone oxytocin could prove to be an effective treatment for autism, but itʼs premature for parents to be dosing their kids with the hormone, researchers warn.

May 2008

Studies find no evidence for gluten-free diet’s benefits in autism

by  /  20 May 2008

About one year after Nicholas Jermyn was diagnosed with autism, his mother Elaine decided to put him on a diet that many claim lessens the behavioral symptoms of the disease.

April 2008

New techniques promise early diagnosis for autism

by  /  17 April 2008

By the time children reach their third birthdays, their behavior can reliably predict whether they have an autism spectrum disorder.