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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: diagnostic tests

December 2021

Trends in autism research 2021

 /  23 December 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, Spectrum recaps some of the biggest trends in autism science this year: studies of sex differences, noncoding regions of the genome and points of convergence, as well as efforts to improve screening and participatory research.

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Parent with toddler and clinician with clipboard.

Reimagining autism screening: A conversation with Roald Øien

by  /  21 December 2021

The questionnaires used to screen for autism are far from perfect, and tweaking them may not be enough. Roald Øien wants researchers to find better solutions.

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Earlier autism diagnosis associated with greater trait improvement

by  /  2 December 2021

Children who are diagnosed with autism before age 2 and a half years show more gains in their social skills than children who are diagnosed later.

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November 2021
An illustration shows mother and child facing a grey monolithic shape that breaks apart to reveal a bright monitor that signifies remote assessments.

Rethinking autism assessments in the time of COVID-19: Q&A with Bishop, Zwaigenbaum

by  /  2 November 2021

Moving most clinical assessments online during the coronavirus pandemic has created a digital divide while closing some geographical ones, say Somer Bishop and Lonnie Zwaigenbaum.

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October 2021

How an understudied trait has skewed autism studies for decades

by  /  27 October 2021

Many autistic people have a little-known trait called alexithymia, defined as having difficulty identifying one’s own emotions. New research suggests that the overlap has been confounding studies of emotional issues in people with autism for decades.

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How traits relate to brain activity may differ between autistic boys, girls

by  /  11 October 2021

Scientists should heed these differences when considering resting-state brain activity as a biomarker for autism, the researchers say.

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September 2021
Stack of journals.

Autism study earns ‘expression of concern’ over unavailable data

by  /  3 September 2021

An autism brain imaging study published seven years ago received an expression of concern last month after its authors failed to uphold a promise to make their raw data freely available.

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August 2021
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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June 2021
A sheet of paper cut into shreds, and then re-aligned into its original shape.

Copyright claim prompts retraction of study on alexithymia in autism

by  /  9 June 2021

After a study revised a popular measure for alexithymia, it was pulled for copyright infringement because the authors did not pay a $40 fee or obtain permission to use the measure.

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May 2021
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Null and Noteworthy: Pregnancy factors, household language, toddler tests

by  /  20 May 2021

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, researchers rebut a controversial epidural study, test out autism assessments in toddlers and give the okay for multilingualism in autistic children.

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