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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

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

November 2021
Week of NovemberNov

Spotted around the web: Heart rate in autism, suicide screening, accelerating gene therapies

by ,  /  5 November 2021

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 1 November.

Illustration shows researcher hand and the hand of a person with autism, holding a research paper aloft. Tone is optimistic.

Six steps to engaging in participatory autism research

by  /  4 November 2021

When scientists successfully partner with autistic people, the autistic community gains a voice in autism research, and the data are more reliable, experts say. Here’s how to build a successful collaboration.

Dr. Audrey Brumback in her lab with her hair and lab coat flying out behind her.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Audrey Brumback

by  /  3 November 2021

Audrey Brumback riffs about volunteering in Mexico, having a lab next door to her husband’s and why she sometimes cries at work.

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.


Remembering child psychiatrist Michael Rutter

by  /  1 November 2021

Sir Michael Rutter, widely hailed as the ‘father of child psychiatry,’ was part of the team that first showed autism has a genetic component. He died 23 October at age 88.

October 2021
Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Oral histories from autistic adults, how much intervention is enough

by  /  31 October 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a study that gathered oral histories from autistic adults diagnosed later in life and an opinion article on gauging the right amount of intervention.

Week of OctoberOct

Spotted around the web: Antipsychotic prescriptions, global autism prevalence, mouse genetic drift

by  /  29 October 2021

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 25 October.


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.

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.

Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: Twitter dispatches from the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting

by  /  24 October 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we highlight online conversations about the conference’s technology foibles and scientific tours de force.