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Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Brain diagram shows areas where steroids may affect the brain

Extreme male brain theory of autism rests on shaky ground

by  /  1 October 2019

New data linking autism to steroid levels in pregnant women are inconsistent with basic facts about the biochemistry of steroids.

Previous articles

September 2019
row of babies playing with toys that look like genome sequence
Opinion / Viewpoint

Studies of tuberous sclerosis may shed light on biology of autism

by  /  24 September 2019

Tuberous sclerosis provides a unique opportunity to understand autism because about half of people with that single-gene condition also have autism.

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synapse populations analysis--micrograph shows neurons in green in colorful network
Opinion / Viewpoint

How studying sleep in animals could unearth autism’s roots

by  /  3 September 2019

Sleep problems may contribute to autism’s underlying biology — a connection that scientists can study in animal models.

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August 2019
calendar showing busy ABA schedule with child's frustrated scribbles on top
Opinion / Viewpoint

How much behavioral therapy does an autistic child need?

by  /  27 August 2019

People tend to believe that, regardless of the treatment, more is always better. But is it?

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Woman with autism hears social noise, but is soothed by the sounds of a lullaby
Opinion / Viewpoint

Brain-body connection may ease autistic people’s social problems

by  /  20 August 2019

An auditory therapy may improve autistic people’s emotional control and help them feel safe enough to engage with the world.

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researchers, doctors and others work together to help a family and their autistic child. Family is at the center of a flower, and the researchers are moving the petals into place.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Medical ‘home’ programs offer coordinated care for autistic people

by ,  /  13 August 2019

A Utah program provides comprehensive care for autistic people across the lifespan and engages families in the decision-making.

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July 2019
Mobile with objects like earbuds, ears, eyes and black and white striped disk hanging
Opinion / Viewpoint

We need precise measurements of sensory traits related to autism

by  /  30 July 2019

Separating sensitivity to sensory stimuli from the response to the stimuli may help scientists understand the root cause of sensory traits in autistic people.

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drawing shows organized lab on left, and the disorder of daily life and community services on the right.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Community delivery of autism therapies lags far behind evidence

by  /  23 July 2019

Most community clinicians do not deliver care that is in line with the latest evidence — and they are not improving over time.

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boy isolated from social crowd
Opinion / Viewpoint

For autistic children, emotional problems may hinder social success

by ,  /  16 July 2019

Although many children with autism want to engage with peers, their emotional difficulties often get in the way of their relationships.

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Opinion / Viewpoint

How the social hormone vasopressin might help autistic people

by  /  9 July 2019

A drug that mimics the hormone vasopressin improves social skills in autistic people — but so does one that blocks vasopressin’s effects. How can seemingly opposing manipulations produce similar results?

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June 2019
Illustration shows variety of stimming behaviors: hand flapping, muttering, rocking, doodling.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Stimming, therapeutic for autistic people, deserves acceptance

by  /  25 June 2019

Repetitive behaviors such as hand-flapping and spinning may give autistic people a sense of control; instead of discouraging these behaviors, therapists should address triggers upsetting to autistic people.

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