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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
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.

Week of OctoberOct

Spotted around the web: SHANK3 tug of war, motor issues, tenure threat

by ,  /  22 October 2021

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 18 October.

Colorful illustration in red and bright aqua blue, of a pizza / pie chart with researcher's hand taking a slice.

By the Numbers: Preschool antipsychotics, COVID-19 vaccinations, delayed autism diagnoses

by  /  20 October 2021

In this edition of By the Numbers, we discuss antipsychotic use among autistic preschoolers, coronavirus vaccination rates among autistic Israelis and autism diagnosis timelines.


Backlash from autistic community pauses research, exposes communication gaps

by ,  /  18 October 2021

Fallout over two recent studies highlights the potential power of social media to shape science, and the shifting dynamics between researchers and the autistic community.