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OPINION

Opinion / Q&A

How polygenic scores can improve predictions about autism, schizophrenia

by  /  19 January 2021

Jacob Vorstman wants to help people who have rare mutations tied to autism, schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental conditions set expectations about outcomes.

Featured articles

Opinion / Q&A
portrait of Dr. Waganesh Zeleke.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Waganesh Zeleke

by  /  22 December 2020
Waganesh Zeleke studies how cultural views can shape autistic people’s lives, as well as the lives of those around them.
Opinion / Q&A
Two children are interacting with a toy in the shape of a brain.

How redefining autism could improve research on the condition

by  /  8 December 2020
Ami Klin wants researchers, clinicians and policymakers to think of autism as something inborn that only predisposes a child to certain traits. Early intervention can change the course of development.
Opinion / Q&A
Portrait of of Kim Kaiser, Director of programming at Color of Autism.

How autism researchers can better reach Black families

by  /  1 December 2020
Kim Kaiser spoke with Spectrum about the nonprofit organization The Color of Autism, why researchers fail to reach Black families and what's needed to fix that disparity.

Latest Opinion

Young boy looking upset, sits on couch with crossed arms.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Errors of omission: Why we are deeply concerned about research on autism therapies

by , , ,  /  24 November 2020

Studies of autism treatments rarely report adverse events, and the scientists involved often fail to disclose their conflicts of interest.

Illustration shows woman in profile with her voice forming a large diverse group of people including those with disabilities.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Autistic people are coming into their own as political players

by  /  17 November 2020

With the election of Jessica Benham and others to U.S. state legislatures, autistic politicians stand poised to advocate for policy and research on priorities that matter most to them.

hands with a red and blue string puzzle.
Opinion / Reviews

Book Review: ‘The Pattern Seekers’ links human invention — past, present and future — to autism traits

by  /  10 November 2020

Simon Baron-Cohen’s new book is essentially a 272-page argument for his hypothesis that all human innovation stems from the ability to discern and manipulate causal patterns.

Illustration shows black researchers sharing data with diverse group.
Opinion / Viewpoint

How to support Black scientists and clinicians in autism research

by ,  /  3 November 2020

To address racial disparities in autism diagnosis and outcomes, we need more Black autism researchers and clinicians. Here are some tips to help recruit and train them.

Illustration shows young woman surrounded by the confusion of puberty and body changes.
Opinion / Q&A

Puberty may arrive early for some autistic girls

by  /  27 October 2020

Girls with autism tend to start puberty earlier than their peers do, which may intensify their social difficulties and put them at an increased risk for bullying and mental health conditions such as depression.

William Mandy at train station
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the bench: A conversation with William Mandy

by  /  20 October 2020

William Mandy talks about the golden hours for writing and why — when there isn’t a pandemic — he likes attending conferences in new parts of the world.

Ilustration shows a young women with pillows, pies and records flying around her.
Opinion / Reviews

Book Review: An autistic writer recounts the fun and futility of trying to fit in

by  /  13 October 2020

In “I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder,” Sarah Kurchak weaves together jagged honesty, funny anecdotes and occasionally painful doses of self-awareness.

A child wearing headphones looking into his locker with bullies lurking behind him.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Why it is imperative to ask autistic adolescents about bullying

by ,  /  6 October 2020

Being bullied puts adolescents with autism at increased risk of suicide. Identifying and preventing bullying may help prevent suicides.

Photograph taken by drone shows Anthony ZAdor and his son running alongside the water.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Tony Zador

by  /  29 September 2020

Neuroscientist Tony Zador discusses the enigma of the human brain, the ‘aha’ moments of running and why a ski resort is a good place for a scientific conference.

The knight Perceval leaves his mother in extreme distress, oblivious to his effect, as he rides into the distance.
Opinion / Viewpoint

The perils of suggesting famous historical figures had autism

by ,  /  22 September 2020

Looking for signs of autism in characters from history and literature can offer insight into society’s changing perceptions through time — but it can also increase the risk of stigma against people with the condition.

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