The common belief that people with autism look at people’s mouths instead of their eyes is inaccurate and has little evidence, say Nouchine Hadjikhani and Quentin Guillon.
Roughly one-third of children with fragile X syndrome also have an autism diagnosis. Studies published in the past few months, however, suggest that the set of autism-like symptoms seen in people with fragile X syndrome may only resemble autism superficially.
The best predictors of treatment outcomes for children with autism may be subtle learning characteristics that are not specific to children with the disorder, rather than the symptoms that led to their diagnosis, say David Trembath and Giacomo Vivanti.
Evidence is finally accumulating that early diagnosis and behavioral interventions improve the lives of people with autism. Even so, increasingly the question isn’t just whether early intervention works but also the best age at which to intervene.
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.
Children with autism learn to name objects and imitate others before they are able to engage others’ attention, a pattern opposite to that seen in typical development. They also lag behind their peers in social communication, according to a study published 6 August in Autism.
In people with autism, the ability to speak may be closely tied to oral motor skills such as lip or jaw movement, according to a study published 1 July in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.
To better understand and treat nonverbal autism, the field must paradoxically move beyond focusing on speech production, say many researchers. Emerging research suggests that seemingly unrelated issues such as motor skills and joint attention may instead be key.