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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: diagnostic tests

September 2011

Clinical research: Autism categories are not clear-cut

by  /  6 September 2011

Collapsing the three core domains of autism — impairments in social interaction, communication deficits, and repetitive and restricted behaviors — into two makes no difference in the accuracy of diagnosis, according to a statistical analysis published 20 August in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

August 2011

Questionnaire rates social skills during play

by  /  31 August 2011

Researchers can use the Manchester Inventory for Playground Observation, a questionnaire that rates children’s interactions with their peers, to reliably measure social skills in children with autism.


Clinical research: Lack of gestures is specific to autism

by  /  12 August 2011

Toddlers with autism are less likely to use gestures to communicate than are typically developing children and those with developmental delay or specific language impairment.


Autism studies that neglect subgroups may skew results

by  /  11 August 2011

Autism studies tend to focus on one part of the spectrum, often excluding those who also have other conditions such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or intellectual disability. The result, some experts say, is piecemeal findings that don’t fit together to generate a whole picture.


Cognition and behavior: Babies with fragile X show prolonged gaze

by  /  2 August 2011

Infants with fragile X syndrome spend more time looking at a toy before switching their attention elsewhere than do healthy controls, according to a study published 1 July in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


How many tests does it take to diagnose autism?

by  /  1 August 2011

Only a fraction of autism studies use the gold standard tests to diagnose the disorder in study participants.

July 2011

Parent trap

by  /  15 July 2011

Mothers of children with autism are rated by their husbands as rigid and inflexible whereas fathers are viewed by their wives as aloof. Perhaps these qualities are reinforced by the challenges of raising a child with the disorder?


Experts critique statistics, conclusion of autism twin study

by  /  14 July 2011

A new study of twins proposes the controversial claim that environmental influences during early development are just as, if not more, important than genetics. But the findings are not substantially different from those of previous twin studies, however, and some experts are critical of the study’s statistics.


Clinical research: Blood test could recommend drug treatment

by  /  13 July 2011

Children who express a subset of genes — including one located in the autism-associated chromosomal region 16p11.2 — at higher or lower levels than normal benefit from treatment with the antipsychotic drug risperidone, according to a study published 7 June in the Pharmacogenomics Journal.


Masked emotions

by  /  12 July 2011

A new study shows that women with high-functioning autism appear better able to camouflage their symptoms, perhaps because they are more self-aware than men with the disorder.