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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

Researchers retract study of an immune effect on synapse development

by  /  24 January 2022
A failed replication and other problems led autism researcher Beth Stevens and her co-investigator to retract the nearly 10-year-old report.
Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Upcoming webinars, participatory research resources, research reactions

by  /  23 January 2022
In this week’s newsletter, we feature tweets about the Lancet Commission, a new initiative from the International Society for Autism Research, a highlighted paper about the link between autism and the microbiome, and reactions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision to acknowledge a hair-based autism test.
Week of JanuaryJan

Spotted around the web: Sleep features, seizure genes, pandemic effects

by  /  21 January 2022
Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 17 January.
January 2022
Stack of bookmarked journals.

Why was a study about autism cited by a paper on plant beauty?

by  /  21 January 2022

Autism studies are appearing in the reference lists of entirely unrelated papers, suggesting what a few scholars worry is a plot to manipulate citations.


By the Numbers: Unequal ABA access, autism incidence by insurance type, criminal charges counts

by  /  20 January 2022

In this edition of By the Numbers, we discuss geographic disparities in access to behavior therapy, autism incidence among the privately or publicly insured and the rarity of criminal charges against autistic people in New Zealand.

mouths forming a conversation

Community Newsletter: Making MRIs more comfortable for autistic people, long-term potentiation and learning

by  /  16 January 2022

Twitter is talking about a review of how to make autistic people more comfortable during magnetic resonance imaging scans, and a study that upends a popular idea about learning — namely, that it requires long-term potentiation of synapses.

Week of JanuaryJan

Spotted around the web: Autism knowledge in Russia, brain imaging peer review, neuro-advocacy

by  /  14 January 2022

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 10 January.


Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Kristin Sohl

by  /  13 January 2022

When pediatrician Kristin Sohl isn’t building programs to improve care for and research about autistic people, you can find her reading psychological thrillers or playing Pokémon Go.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Post-traumatic stress in older autistic people, Michael Rutter’s legacy

by  /  9 January 2022

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at conversations around a study of trauma and autism traits in older adults, and an editorial that looks back at late child psychiatrist Sir Michael Rutter’s contributions to the field.

Week of JanuaryJan

Spotted around the web: Gut issues, autism screens, prenatal genetic tests

by  /  7 January 2022

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 3 January.


Motor skills in autism: A missed opportunity

by ,  /  4 January 2022

Motor differences are more relevant than has historically been appreciated for understanding, assessing and supporting people on the spectrum.

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.

Portraits of Cathy Lord and Tony Charman.

Webinar: Tony Charman and Catherine Lord on the Lancet Commission and ‘profound autism’

26 January 2022

On 26 January, Catherine Lord, distinguished professor of psychiatry and education at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Tony Charman, chair of clinical child psychology at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, will speak about the Lancet commission’s recommendations and the use of the term ‘profound autism.’