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Diagnosis

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

News / Profiles
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.
News
Mom and toddler with audio recording device

Video: Wearable sensors pick up early signs of autism

by  /  30 August 2021
Audio and motion-sensor recordings offer a remote window into a baby’s first years and make it easier for families to participate in research.
Features / Deep Dive
Portrait of the Lane family in Kentucky.

Moving for autism care

by  /  4 August 2021
Disparities in state services for autism are driving families to relocate. But not everyone can afford to move, and others find that their new home also has faults.
August 2021
Image shows two young girls, identical twins, covering their faces with leaves while facing each other.
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with John Constantino: Solving the biomarker conundrum

by  /  3 August 2021

Biological factors that reflect autism’s roots may differ from those that influence how severe the condition is. Failure to make a distinction has stymied the search for biomarkers.

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July 2021
News

Sex, age of diagnosis correlate with autism comorbidities

by  /  30 July 2021

Girls are more likely to have various other conditions, such as anxiety or an eating disorder, if they are diagnosed with autism as a teenager, compared with girls diagnosed as children. The findings may suggest that clinicians miss diagnosing some autistic girls unless they also have co-occurring conditions.

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Colorful, playful illustrated scene of ewborns on a conveyor belt moving past researchers holding a long, long list.
News

The push to screen newborns for rare autism-linked genetic conditions

by  /  28 July 2021

As treatments for some autism-linked genetic conditions inch closer to the clinic, researchers are talking more urgently about screening all newborns for such conditions.

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Illustration shows certain states with multiple connections to people and other states
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with Matthew Maenner: Estimating autism prevalence quickly

by  /  13 July 2021

A new method to track autism prevalence in 11 U.S. states is twice as fast as the old approach — and yields similar results.

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June 2021
Close up of phone with Cognoa app in use, apparently taking video or a photo of a child exhibiting stimming behaviors or repetitive motions.
News

Green light for diagnostic autism app raises questions, concerns

by  /  24 June 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the okay to an app designed to help clinicians diagnose autism in children, but some researchers have concerns about its use.

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Scientist with diagnostic tool, looking at many different choices, including the number 6.
Opinion / Q&A

How two graduate students uncovered a critical error in autism screening guidelines

by  /  22 June 2021

Spectrum spoke to the researchers who uncovered an error in autism screening guidelines that have been in use for nearly a decade.

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May 2021
Baby in mother's lap watching her mouth move as she talks.
News

Infant siblings of autistic children miss language-learning clues

by  /  6 May 2021

So-called ‘baby sibs’ watch adults’ faces just as much as children without autistic siblings do, but they don’t understand spoken language as well.

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April 2021
News

Gaze-tracking app predicts autism diagnosis in toddlers

by  /  26 April 2021

A mobile phone app that tracks a toddler’s gaze as she watches short videos can distinguish between children who later receive an autism diagnosis and those who do not according to a new study.

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March 2021
Doctor or clinician makes notes about patient during diagnosis.
Opinion

Error found in autism screening guidelines

by , , ,  /  24 March 2021

The U.K. clinical guidelines used to screen for autism contain an error, which may have resulted in many delayed or missed diagnoses over the past decade.

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Geometric figures in soft palette shows family group following a navigator or guide figure
News / Toolbox

Family navigation helps reduce disparities in autism diagnosis

by  /  22 March 2021

Training community members to help families access care increases the likelihood that children from low-income and minority groups will obtain diagnostic evaluations.

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