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OPINION

Opinion / Viewpoint

Listening to parents can curtail autism’s diagnostic odyssey

by ,  /  15 September 2020

Surveys of parents’ impressions of their child’s emotional and behavioral problems can improve autism screening and shorten waitlists for diagnostic evaluations.

Featured articles

Opinion / Viewpoint
People reaching out to touch hands through screen.

We need better strategies to support autistic people as the COVID-19 crisis continues

by  /  8 September 2020
Interviews with autistic people reveal that many miss their friends and opportunities for social connection, in stark contrast to orthodox views that they have little social motivation and prefer a life of self-isolation.
Opinion / Q&A
young autistic girl in playroom with a tennis ball that matches her yellow dyed hair.

Inside a summer camp for autistic children in Russia

by  /  1 September 2020
Photographs show how a camp in St. Petersburg this summer helped children on the spectrum and their families find some fun during the pandemic.
Opinion / Q&A
Photo-based illustration shows woman with a dress matching the wallpaper behind her, holding a mask.

Spotting the problems with ‘camouflaging’ in autism research

by  /  25 August 2020
Eric Fombonne spoke with Spectrum about the possibilities that autism is overdiagnosed in adults and that camouflaging traits is not unique to the condition.

Latest Opinion

Opinion / Reviews

Review: ‘Love on the Spectrum’ is kind, but unrepresentative

by  /  18 August 2020

The Netflix series that follows 20-something autistic adults looking for love is well intentioned but fails to capture reality and is riddled with bad advice.

A plate with a slice of yellow cake sits on a blue plate on a light blue table cloth, surrounded by spoons and forks. This image places an emphasis on food and ritualized behaviors.
Opinion

Autism and eating disorders may have an emotional connection

by , ,  /  12 August 2020

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any kinds of mental illness. They don’t discriminate, affecting people of all ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, ages and backgrounds.

Collage illustration showing Lucina Uddin portrait with eye movements and brain images
Opinion / Q&A

Rethinking ‘noise’ in autism research

by  /  11 August 2020

Lucina Uddin says researchers should be cautious when analyzing their findings, because ‘noisy’ data may actually hold important information about brain functioning.

Matt Lerner playing the sax in his year
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Matthew Lerner

by  /  4 August 2020

Since the pandemic began, Matthew Lerner and his team have become part of a massive experiment on maintaining social connection at a distance.

Pen and ink drawings by a father and daughter in a. sketchbook
Opinion / Q&A

On the same page: Divorce, drawing, and parenting an autistic child

by  /  28 July 2020

Shared sketch books chart a father-daughter relationship over time and provide a valuable outlet for self-regulating emotions.

Illustration shows scientist is observing social behavior in a large group of children
Opinion / Viewpoint

In search of ‘social’ subtypes of autism

by ,  /  21 July 2020

Grouping autistic people based on their social abilities may reveal subtypes of the condition.

Person sleeping with EEG electrodes attached to head
Opinion / Viewpoint

Losing sleep: How researchers miss a key contributor to autism

by ,  /  16 July 2020

Doctors and scientists should consider sleep problems an integral part of autism and begin to study them in more rigorous ways.

A mother and child interact on a giant flower while social workers tend the garden around them
Opinion / Viewpoint

Social workers are poised to help Latino children get autism evaluations

by  /  7 July 2020

Autism prevalence differs between Latino and white children in part due to structural inequalities within the U.S. education and healthcare systems. Social workers are in a prime position to help.

Two brains resting on the scales of justice
Opinion / Q&A

Lessons from ‘neurolaw’ for autism research

by  /  30 June 2020

Francis X. Shen, a researcher at the intersection of neuroscience and the law, says scientists must include information about study participants’ income, education and race in their findings.

Illustration shows the shadow of a child falling on a cafeteria tray of food.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Calling on primary care providers to help autistic children with weight issues

by ,  /  23 June 2020

Pediatric primary care practitioners have a critical responsibility to provide guidance for autistic children struggling with weight gain, and to advocate for them at home and at school.

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