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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Spotted around the web: Antisense therapies, mosaic mutations, researcher productivity

by  /  12 November 2021

November 8th

Research roundup

  • Vocalization patterns at 12 months may predict a future autism diagnosis among infants with an autistic sibling. Child Development
  • A brain response to sound called the N1 auditory evoked potential may differ between autistic and non-autistic people. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
  • Viewing autism as a set of deficits — a conventional medicine approach — may constrain broader thinking about neurodiversity in society. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Researchers have treated multiple children with rare genetic diseases using custom antisense oligonucleotides that obscure short, pathogenic stretches of DNA. Science
  • Autism and intellectual disability in two siblings likely resulted from SCN2A mutations in a small proportion of their father’s sperm, a case study finds. Spectrum wrote about such ‘mosaic’ mutations in July. Journal of Medical Genetics
  • Mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 have altered spatial skills, memory processing and neuronal activity in the hippocampus. Cell Reports

Science and society

  • The Autism Science Foundation issued a statement in support of applied behavior analysis. Spectrum has covered the controversial therapy in depth. Autism Science Foundation
  • The Canadian-Israeli Azrieli Foundation has made a $13 million donation to the National Autism Research Center in Beersheba, the largest gift ever to support autism studies in Israel. The Times of Israel
  • In Canada, the province of British Columbia intends to switch its autism support funding to a hub system that spans a broader set of childhood needs, leaving autism advocates and families uncertain if they’ll lose their current services. Global News
  • Science historian and writer Brandy Schillace discusses embracing her gender identity and neurodiversity in a personal essay. Scientific American

    Painting of young girl standing with wings standing next to a tree in the middle of a forest.

    Know thyself: Painting by essay-writer Brandy Schillace, entitled “Fledging”

    Courtesy of Brandy Schillace

  • The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the productivity and mental health of researchers, particularly women, people of color and parents of young children. Nature
  • A federal effort to oversee autism research and healthcare services in the United States has requested public comment by 30 November for next year’s strategic plan. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
  • Parents of autistic children living in the United Kingdom have reported more difficulty in getting school-based support services than they did four years ago, according to a report by the National Autistic Society. The Guardian
  • The U.S. Justice Department has sued Uber for charging extra fees when drivers wait for passengers to arrive, saying it discriminates against people with disabilities. The New York Times

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TAGS:   autism