Spectrum: Autism Research News
In this series of articles, we explore how clinical genetics is giving families long-sought answers and transforming autism care. The first story, “Why genetic testing matters for autistic people,” explains some of the factors that limit the availability of genetic tests in the United States. The second story, “Europe’s race to ramp up genetic tests for autism,” tracks European efforts to reckon with growing demand for genetic tests from parents. As a number of countries scale up the tests they offer, their experiences might offer practical lessons to others. The troves of data they collect could also help scientists link more genetic variants to autism. The third installment in the series, “How families are driving the study of autism genes,” reports on the power of family groups — growing numbers of which are coalescing around rare genetic mutations — to drive research.
Genetic tests for people with autism are far from routine and don’t always yield results, but the information they offer can change lives.
Many countries in Europe are reckoning with the growing demand for genetic tests for autistic people — and the accompanying ethical and scientific considerations.
Parents of children with rare autism-linked mutations are banding together for support and to join forces with scientists, accelerating the pace of research.
Two new studies point to the possibility of detecting autism mutations before birth — along with all the ethical and logistical problems that may bring.
No genetic test can say whether a person has autism, but it may point to a cause for the condition or for any related complications.
People with autism and their families can be important partners in understanding the genetics of autism by agreeing to share their genetic data.
Finding a mutation linked to autism traits can have life-changing consequences for autistic individuals and their families.
The best way to deliver surprises from genetic findings is to provide adequate information and counseling alongside the results.