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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
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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white mouse looking at something out of frame
News / Toolbox

New tool captures dynamic changes in decision-making

by  /  4 February 2021

A new open-source software package makes it possible to model changes in human and animal behavior over the course of an experiment.

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January 2021
3D image of a rat with motion sensor nodes on, in a clear cage.
News

Motion-capture videos reveal atypical grooming in fragile X rats

by  /  27 January 2021

A Hollywood-inspired video tool that captures movement in three dimensions over extended time periods shows that rats lacking the autism-linked gene FMR1 have different grooming patterns than controls do.

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