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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Rachel Nuwer

Contributing Writer, Spectrum

Rachel Nuwer is a freelance science journalist who contributes to outlets such as the New York Times, Scientific American and New Scientist. She writes news articles for Spectrum. She lives in Brooklyn.

Contact Info

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March 2022

Lisa Croen: Autism’s first dedicated epidemiologist

by  /  28 March 2022

Inspired by watching her autistic nephew grow up, Croen has also been an advocate for bolstering research and services for autistic adults.

May 2021
Humorous photograph shows a young man with plastic sunglasses on that match the patterns around him, surveys a tabletop scene of patterned objects.

Finding strengths in autism

by  /  12 May 2021

Autism comprises a set of difficulties, but growing evidence suggests that certain abilities also define the condition.

June 2020

Meet the autistic scientists redefining autism research

by  /  10 June 2020

Growing ranks of researchers on the spectrum are overcoming barriers — from neurotypical bias to sensory sensitivities — to shape autism science.

March 2020
Illustration shows older person in chair in messy house, looking out the window at a sunset.

Growing old with autism

by  /  18 March 2020

For many autistic adults, the golden years are tarnished by poor health, poverty and, in some cases, homelessness. Their plight reveals huge gaps in care.

April 2016

Mouse study links gene to some autism symptoms

by  /  22 April 2016

Mice missing a gene called PTCHD1 in a deep-seated brain structure have autism-like symptoms that ease with treatment.

Week of AprilApr

Deceitful DNA; grant gambit; autism glass

by  /  15 April 2016

A woman claims that a genetic test failed to flag her son’s deadly condition, a researcher wins a rare appeal of a rejected grant application, and a graduate student’s gadget could help people with autism to read emotions.

March 2016

Autism’s history holds lessons for today’s researchers

by  /  14 March 2016

The authors of “Neurotribes” and “In a Different Key” urge scientists to question their biases and to translate their findings into tangible benefits for those on the spectrum.

February 2016
Week of FebruaryFeb

Embryo editing; race debate; microbial makeover

by  /  5 February 2016

A scientist gets permission to edit the genomes of human embryos, and researchers argue that it’s time to leave race out of genetic studies.

January 2016

‘In a Different Key’ presents symphony of autism’s history

by  /  19 January 2016

Journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker detail autism’s transformation from a diagnosis shrouded in shame to an increasingly accepted, even celebrated, condition.

October 2015

Attention deficit may mask autism, delay diagnosis

by  /  26 October 2015

Children who have both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism receive their autism diagnosis an average of four years later than those who have autism alone.