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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /

Viewpoint

Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Book cover conceptual illustration of chromosome superimposed with genetic tree.

A whisper of autism: Fragile X carriers and the autism phenotype

by  /  21 April 2022

Among people who carry the fragile X premutation, about 14 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls meet the criteria for autism, but the ‘broad autism phenotype’ may be far more common.

Previous articles
March 2022
Ukrainian families seen waiting for a train to Poland. Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, has now become a transit hub for women and children fleeing to Europe, while men return and travel to eastern Ukraine to defend the country.

My hope for Ukrainians with autism

by  /  15 March 2022

To think that what we are witnessing now in Ukraine is far removed from the world of autism would be a huge mistake.

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Illustration of head in profile filled with swirls of color.

Clinicians must put more effort into autism-specific medical care

by  /  14 March 2022

Without it, autistic adults with high support needs like my son are missing out on treatments that could reduce their suffering and improve their quality of life.

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February 2022

Flawed methods undermine study on undiagnosed autism and suicide

by  /  28 February 2022

The researchers attempted to retroactively identify signs of autism in people who died by suicide, but their analysis is not convincing.

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Study links screen time to autism, but problems abound

by  /  1 February 2022

The paper relied on parent-reported data and adjusted for few potentially confounding variables.

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January 2022

Motor skills in autism: A missed opportunity

by ,  /  4 January 2022

Motor differences are more relevant than has historically been appreciated for understanding, assessing and supporting people on the spectrum.

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September 2021
Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particle in pink and purple on deep blue background..

How to protect vulnerable autistic adults during the coronavirus pandemic

by  /  29 September 2021

Autistic adults are especially prone to contracting COVID-19 and to having complications from it. We need mitigation strategies and vaccination policies to better protect them.

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Illustration of large microscope with spotlight on DNA strand representing focus on basic research leaving families in the twilight waiting room.

Autism research continues to stress basic science over improving interventions

by  /  14 September 2021

For 40 years, the preponderance of autism research has focused on understanding the causes and characteristics of the condition rather than testing assessments or interventions in community settings.

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Steve Warren

Remembering Steve Warren (1953-2021): A giant in the field of genetics

Steve Warren co-discovered the genetic mechanism that underpins fragile X syndrome and was a generous, inspiring mentor to many.

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August 2021

Validating autism subtypes: A crucial but often overlooked step in research

by ,  /  31 August 2021

Studies of autism subtypes rarely validate their results, and this has led to a proliferation of autism subtypes of questionable utility. But reliable subtyping can help improve the prognosis for and care of autistic people.

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Illustration shows a woman thinking as she is surrounded by signs with feelings on them and question marks.

Measuring alexithymia in autistic people

by ,  /  24 August 2021

Despite the growing interest in alexithymia in autism research, the tools commonly used to measure this trait may not work reliably in autistic populations. A new scoring method fills that gap.

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