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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Diagnosis

Diagnosing autism is an evolving science but a crucial first step to understanding the disorder.

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.
Birds-eye-view of children sitting on grass in a circle formation each inside a hula hoop to represent improved identification and diagnosis of autism.

U.S. autism prevalence inches upward as racial gaps close

by  /  2 December 2021
Autism prevalence in the United States rose to 1 in 44 children in 2018, up from 1 in 54 in 2016.
Child with colorful tactile puzzle and clinician or therapist.

Autism without intellectual impairments more common than previously reported

by  /  1 December 2021
Almost 60 percent of autistic people may have an average or above-average intelligence quotient, according to a new longitudinal study.
November 2021
Dr. Shafali Jeste portrait with a vibrant fuschia background.

Shafali Jeste: Early autism meets its match

by  /  30 November 2021

Shafali Jeste has spent the bulk of her scientific career searching for biological markers of autism. Her goal: to improve lives through early diagnosis and speedy testing of therapies.

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Professor Andrew Whitehouse surrounded by playful children in the busy clinic in Subiaco Western Australia.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Andrew Whitehouse

by  /  24 November 2021

Andrew Whitehouse talks about his conservation efforts in the Australian Outback, what it’s like to be an identical twin and why he leaves work promptly at 5 p.m.

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Clinician sitting with young boy looking at drawings together.

Age at autism diagnosis, first intervention drops to under 3 years

by  /  19 November 2021

Autism diagnoses in the United States now precede developmental services and interventions, according to a new study.

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Mouse neurons in red and pink on black.

Mouse model reveals root of breathing issues in rare form of autism

by  /  5 November 2021

Dysfunctional circuits and a rogue sodium channel in the brainstem may explain the disordered breathing pattern seen in children with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a form of autism.

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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

Deep-learning model may accurately predict autism diagnosis

by  /  28 October 2021

The algorithm estimates a child’s likelihood of having autism from patterns of co-occurring conditions in electronic health records, outperforming a widely used screening test.

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Illustration of large globe shaped like a brain sitting in center of room and showing Latin America prominently.

Diversifying autism brain banks: Q&A with Verónica Martínez-Cerdeño

by  /  25 October 2021

The postmortem brain tissue available for autism research is overwhelmingly from people of Western European heritage. Verónica Martínez-Cerdeño and her colleagues are working to change that.

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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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Young child at a medical check-up.

Missed check-ups, delayed autism diagnoses among low-income children

by  /  6 October 2021

Autistic children from low-income families are diagnosed about eight months later than their wealthier peers, a new analysis of insurance claims in Virginia shows.

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September 2021
Portrait of Dr. Eric Fombonne at home.

Eric Fombonne: Crossing continents to expand autism science

by  /  7 September 2021

A Paris-born child psychiatrist, Fombonne has advanced bold positions on the cause, prevalence and nature of autism during a career spanning four countries.

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