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Signs & Symptoms

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

April 2021
Young girl in kindergarten classroom, concentrating.
News

Age 6 may represent key turning point in autism

by  /  7 April 2021

Many autistic children show continuous improvement in trait severity until they are school-age, at which point progress often levels off.

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Person itching back of neck.
News

Sensory issues linked to heart-rate differences in autistic youth

by  /  5 April 2021

Autistic children with sensory issues show more intense physiological reactions to unpleasant sounds and other sensations than their non-autistic peers do, a new study shows.

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Twin sisters spending their time using laptop and smart phone at home
News

Genes drive autistic people’s reactivity to environmental cues

by  /  2 April 2021

Genes influence how autistic people react to sights, sounds and other sensory cues, whereas environmental factors shape their tendency to notice and seek out such stimuli, a new study in twins suggests.

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March 2021
Boy in classroom looks frustrated as other kids interact and move around him.
News

Communication struggles may explain aggression in some autistic boys

by  /  29 March 2021

Poor communication skills predict aggression in autistic boys, according to a new study. In autistic girls, communication and aggression may not be related.

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diverse classroom of middle school students during a lesson.
News

Massive U.K. study finds racial and ethnic disparities in autism diagnoses

by ,  /  29 March 2021

About 1.8 percent of schoolchildren in England are autistic, and the prevalence is highest among Black children, at about 2.1 percent.

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Scanning elecgron micrograph of Faecal bacteria.
News

Gut microbes shape social behavior in autism mouse model

by  /  26 March 2021

Treating mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 with a strain of gut bacteria makes them more social but no less hyperactive.

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Boy in brain-like tunnel looking towards the light
Features / Deep Dive

Puberty and autism: An unexplored transition

by  /  24 March 2021

Researchers are just beginning to learn what happens in the brains of autistic children during adolescence to explain their unique social, cognitive and emotional challenges.

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February 2021
DNA mutation
News

Proteins linked to top autism gene might aid early diagnosis

by  /  26 February 2021

Blood levels of PTEN protein and associated molecules could eventually help diagnose autism and other neurological conditions — and predict their outcomes.

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Child with clinician, making eye contact
News / Toolbox

Algorithm ‘sees’ when people’s eyes meet

by  /  25 February 2021

A new machine-learning tool detects eye contact during recorded face-to-face interactions as accurately as expert observers can.

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Female teen in an institutional setting, blue light by widows, blinds drawn.
News

Emotional challenges predict hospital stays in autistic children

by  /  24 February 2021

Autistic children who have difficulty managing their emotions are also likely to take medication and need assistance from emergency responders.

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