Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted around the web: Naturalistic research; AUTS2 gene; cerebellar GABA

by  /  20 January 2023

January 16th

Research roundup  

  • Special-education teachers are most inclined to use evidence-based practices for working with autistic students if they learned about or practiced them during teacher training, according to a qualitative study. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 
  • Brain organoids carrying a variant of the autism-linked gene AUTS2 show altered growth, cell proliferation and organization compared with wildtype organoids. Brain 
  • Conducting research in naturalistic settings can improve scientists’ understanding of and translatable findings for children with neurodevelopmental conditions, researchers write in an editorial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 
  • The Japanese version of the Interoceptive Sensory Questionnaire is reliable and shows good internal consistency; autistic people tend to have high scores, which is thought to represent confusion in describing internal states. Scientific Reports 
  • Autistic children who were born extremely preterm are more likely than those born at term to have delays in speech milestones. Autism Research 
  • Poor-quality sleep may be a factor in regulating synaptic plasticity and learning in rodent models of autism, according to a review. Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms 
  • Levels of the neurotransmitter GABA in the cerebellum are not altered in autistic people, despite previous findings that the levels are lower in cortical areas compared with non-autistic people. Autism Research
    A diagram describes the characteristics of ASD mouse models.

    Zzzz factor: Sleep quality may determine learning outcomes in animal models of autism.

  • Autism affects 2.3 percent of U.S.-based children, is diagnosed via comprehensive evaluation by a team of specialists, and is treated mainly with behavioral interventions, according to a review article. JAMA 
  • Clinical and educational interventions that focus on autistic people’s strengths may boost their well-being. Autism 
  • Parents of autistic children who experience high stress spend less time than other parents engaging with their children in shared activities; however, the causal relationship is not clear. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 
  • People with intellectual or developmental conditions who have given birth are less likely than those without the conditions to initiate and rely on breastfeeding with their infants in the hospital. The Lancet Public Health 

Science and society 

  • The Autism Science Foundation has announced new funding for research proposals that evaluate “profound autism.” Autism Science Foundation 
  • Novelist Matt Haig reflects on his recent autism diagnosis and his fictional characters, who often share his feeling of being a “fish out of water.” The New York Times 

Cite this article:

TAGS:   autism