Mirror neurons, which fire when a person performs or observes an action, function just as well in young children with autism as they do in their typically developing peers. The finding, reported 10 February in Autism Research, boosts evidence against a popular theory of autism.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
An automated system developed for tracking the movements of lab animals can be used to accurately map the activity of children with autism, researchers reported in the February Molecular Autism. When given free rein, the system found, children with autism tend to explore a room’s edges, whereas those with other developmental disorders cling to their parents.
The ‘intense world theory’ of autism, which has attracted much interest from the popular press, has received very little academic scrutiny. Uta Frith and Anna Remington ask: Is it as positive as it purports to be, and what does it mean for autism?
Babies later diagnosed with autism tend to stare at objects after picking them up at much later ages than controls do, according to a study published in Behavioral Brain Research.
Baby boys later diagnosed with autism lose interest in other people’s eyes between 2 and 6 months of age, according to a study published today in Nature. This is the earliest behavioral marker of autism found to date.
Infants later diagnosed with autism tend to look at the hair and body of someone speaking to them instead of at the eyes and mouth, which convey social cues, reports a study published 13 August in Biological Psychiatry.
Clinicians should place children under age 5 who have developmental delay into a broad diagnostic category, called ESSENCE, which may then resolve into any number of individual diagnoses over time, says Christopher Gillberg.