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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

News

Increasing delays in development may signal autism in preterm babies

by  /  28 September 2020
Extremely preterm babies later diagnosed with autism tend to show steep declines in development, a pattern that could flag them for intervention as early as 6 months of age.
Opinion / Viewpoint
The knight Perceval leaves his mother in extreme distress, oblivious to his effect, as he rides into the distance.

The perils of suggesting famous historical figures had autism

by ,  /  22 September 2020
Looking for signs of autism in characters from history and literature can offer insight into society’s changing perceptions through time — but it can also increase the risk of stigma against people with the condition.
Features / Deep Dive
Illustration shows a family is watching fireworks, child sees blurry version of the event.

Eyeing the connection between autism and vision

by  /  16 September 2020
Autism is unusually common among blind people, and children with autism are more likely to have vision problems than their typical peers. Understanding why could lead to better therapies for autism for autism.
September 2020
Illustration shows information flowing from family (parents and child) into algorithm .
Opinion / Viewpoint

Listening to parents can curtail autism’s diagnostic odyssey

by ,  /  15 September 2020

Surveys of parents’ impressions of their child’s emotional and behavioral problems can improve autism screening and shorten waitlists for diagnostic evaluations.

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People reaching out to touch hands through screen.
Opinion / Viewpoint

We need better strategies to support autistic people as the COVID-19 crisis continues

by  /  8 September 2020

Interviews with autistic people reveal that many miss their friends and opportunities for social connection, in stark contrast to orthodox views that they have little social motivation and prefer a life of self-isolation.

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News

Autism prevalence in the United States explained

by  /  3 September 2020

The bulk of the increase in autism prevalence stems from a growing awareness of the condition and changes to the diagnostic criteria.

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August 2020
Two faces interacting socially while data is being recorded, illustration.
News

Facial expressions between autistic and typical people may be mismatched

by  /  28 August 2020

Conversations between an autistic and a typical person involve less smiling and more mismatched facial expressions than do interactions between two typical people.

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News

Brain’s center of automatic body functions has autism links

by  /  20 August 2020

The brainstem controls such disparate functions as breathing, sensation and sleep — all of which can be altered in autism.

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News / Toolbox

New measures of social skills tap what monkeys see, do

by  /  14 August 2020

A pair of tools that gauge social abilities in rhesus macaques may help researchers study autism-like behaviors in monkeys.

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Illustration showing two hands plugging cables into different areas of the brain, eg. prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, etc.
News

Motor difficulties in autism, explained

by  /  13 August 2020

Most people with autism have motor difficulties, ranging from an atypical gait to problems with handwriting, but researchers still have much to learn about their causes and consequences.

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Illustration shows an ear balancing on a brain, surrounded by barriers blocking sound waves
Features / Deep Dive

Confusion at the crossroads of autism and hearing loss

by  /  12 August 2020

Hearing difficulties and autism often overlap, exacerbating autism traits and complicating diagnoses.

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A plate with a slice of yellow cake sits on a blue plate on a light blue table cloth, surrounded by spoons and forks. This image places an emphasis on food and ritualized behaviors.
Opinion

Autism and eating disorders may have an emotional connection

by , ,  /  12 August 2020

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any kinds of mental illness. They don’t discriminate, affecting people of all ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, ages and backgrounds.

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Young child on her bed looking at a book.
News

Studies unravel diversity of traits tied to chromosome 16 mutations

by  /  3 August 2020

Two new analyses help to explain why mutations to the chromosomal region 16p11.2 can lead to autism, intellectual disability or language difficulties.

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