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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /

Viewpoint

Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Previous articles
February 2020

How normative modeling can reframe autism’s heterogeneity

by ,  /  25 February 2020

Normative modeling could capture variability among autistic people and allow for individualized assessments.

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iphone held up to crowd shows MRIs of people nearby

Why concern about facial recognition from brain scans is overblown

by  /  18 February 2020

Can brain scans, in the wrong hands, compromise research participants’ identity? The risk is minimal.

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Female researcher with autism looks at distorted view of herself among scientists papers, flying around the distorted face

Why autism research needs more input from autistic people

by  /  11 February 2020

Too many scientists fail to acknowledge autistic people’s potential contributions to the field. This shortsightedness damages scientists’ ability to help people.

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January 2020
Two silhouettes, of child and an adult in a twilight colored setting. We can see inside the brain and interactions with medicine and the brain. The child's head is surrounded by clouds and the adult head is in the clear.

Why serotonin medications may yet help children with autism

by  /  28 January 2020

A class of medications used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder seems to ease compulsive behaviors in adults with autism. Why can’t we tell if these medications work similarly in children with the condition?

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Black woman in office space, hemmed in by multiple boxes

‘Autistic while black’: How autism amplifies stereotypes

by  /  21 January 2020

A lack of research on black people with autism makes it difficult for an autistic black woman to survive in the workplace and elsewhere.

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How the autonomic nervous system may govern anxiety in autism

by ,  /  14 January 2020

The branch of the nervous system that regulates subconscious bodily processes such as breathing and digestion may play a key role in autism.

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Young man in textured space, environmental factors and genes swarm in and around him

Autism heritability: It probably does not mean what you think it means

by  /  7 January 2020

The question of autism’s heritability is compelling for researchers and laypeople alike, but many people in both groups misunderstand its definition.

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December 2019
Illustration shows boy with bag of oranges, in landscape of food with DNA trailing around him

Diets may help autistic children with certain genetic profiles

by ,  /  17 December 2019

No diet is likely to treat autistic people on a large scale, but diets based on a genetic profile may bring big benefits to a few.

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Illustration shows fetus with molecules interacting inside the mother's belly

In defense of sex steroids’ role in autism

by ,  /  12 December 2019

Multiple independent studies are revealing evidence suggesting that sex steroids are important in autism.

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A woman's eye is scattered with light, tracking eye movement

Studies of gaze could improve diagnosis, treatment of autism

by  /  10 December 2019

Understanding how gaze differs in autistic people may help improve their lives.

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