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Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.
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Spotted around the web: Week of 29 October 2018

by  /  2 November 2018

October 29th

Research roundup

  • Seizures affect nearly half of the babies under 14 months old in intensive care who are undergoing continuous electroencephalography. Frontiers in Pediatrics
  • Patterns of brain activity during the integration of visual and auditory cues are associated with Autism Spectrum Quotient scores. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
  • High sensitivity to changes in pitch in autistic children is linked to increased anxiety and behavioral or emotional problems. Molecular Autism
  • The cries of 1-month-old infants later diagnosed with autism sound more distressed than those of typical babies. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Children with autism are more likely than their neurotypical peers to experience maltreatment, including physical abuse, which is tied to increased aggression and hyperactivity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Intelligence testing appears to be more accurate for children on the spectrum when it leverages their strength in nonverbal reasoning. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Prenatal exposure to a couple of chemicals that soften plastic has been linked to language delay in preschool-aged children in Sweden and the United States. JAMA Pediatrics
  • Prenatal exposure to medications that affect nerve signaling doesn’t affect autism risk. JAMA Psychiatry
  • Women with autism who are ‘camouflaging’ — attempting to behave neurotypically — show a distinctive pattern of brain activity. Autism
  • A questionnaire developed to measure use of social camouflaging behaviors aligns well with other measures of autism traits. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Researchers traced the brain circuits underlying oxytocin’s paradoxical ability to produce both social anxiety and a desire for social interaction. Biological Psychiatry
  • Parents rate their autistic children’s levels of anxiety, attention problems and depression differently than their children do. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Autism researchers view public engagement with autistic advocates as a positive, even though the researchers find the social interactions difficult. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • California legislation limiting medical exemptions for vaccines has left public-health officials frustrated at their lack of authority to review exemptions. Pediatrics

Science and society

  • A philosopher addressing the place of philosophy in autism research says including the “lived experience of autistic people” is the “most responsible approach.” Autism
  • Does the growing practice of ‘lifestyle medicine’ among clinicians increase the risk of blaming the patient for chronic conditions? The BMJ
  • What underlies the growing flood of retractions — a “death penalty” for scientific publications that even caught up with Benjamin Franklin in 1756? Science
  • You might be surprised at how recently the word ‘anti-vaxxer’ first appeared in print, along with other science words you can find using Merriam-Webster’s search tool going back to the year 1500. STAT
  • Over the next decade, a half million U.S. adolescents with autism are going to be looking for jobs, raising the question of where they will find them. Houston Chronicle
  • When young people with learning disabilities and members of law enforcement mix, the outcome is unpredictable, as in the case of one man who was locked up for 12 years for making a prank call at age 19. The Guardian
  • A fatal font issue can doom federal grant applications, no matter how worthy the research. STAT
  • An orchestra conductor and his wife, who connected with their autistic son through music, have opened a boarding house where people on the spectrum can learn art, music and culinary skills. 60 Minutes
  • After a backlash over a published letter defending a researcher who resigned after sexual harassment accusations, Science has said it will no longer publish such apologia. Science
  • The chair of the U.S. Senate judiciary committee has asked the director of the National Institutes of Health to provide a pile of information explaining how the agency vets grant recipients with non-U.S. affiliations. U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
  • Liberia has established the country’s first classroom specifically for children with autism. Daily Observer
  • An autistic man says that neurotypicals should value people on the spectrum for their strengths instead of trying to force them to fit in. The Conversation
  • Another writer says that his strengths as an autistic person are his incredible memory and compassion. The Good Men Project

Autism and the arts

  • A dancer and actor on the spectrum is featured in a new commercial for a Schick razor, with the tagline that it “celebrates all men who are true to themselves.” Twitter
  • Several children on the spectrum in the United Kingdom placed in the Unique Art Awards, which are specifically for young artists with disabilities. BBC News
  • “Treasure,” a film about a black child with autism and featuring an actor with the condition, debuted at the Portland Film Festival in Oregon. Hood River News


  • The BMJ has expanded its award categories for outstanding achievement in medicine to include digital innovation, care for the older person and innovation in quality improvement, among others. The BMJ
  • If you fail to disclose “significant financial conflicts of interest” in published research, have you committed research misconduct? JAMA
  • Nature has moved to allow peer review after publication and is encouraging preprint release of the comments. Nature