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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Spotted around the web: Neuronal interference, effects of trauma, sensory rooms

by  /  14 February 2020

February 10th

Research roundup

  • Children with autism are often bullied, and possibly even more so if they are resistant to change. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • The number of crisis events reported by London-area hospitals on any given day reflects the number of tweets about depression or schizophrenia the preceding week. Scientific Reports
  • Autistic children tend to move more slowly than typical children do. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Scientists have created the world’s first synthetic genome. PNAS
  • Autistic children who experience trauma may have trouble communicating it, and their caregivers may misattribute trauma-related behaviors to autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Mutations of a gene associated with autism and schizophrenia seem to interfere with specific neuronal functions in mice. Neuron
  • Microglia, the brain’s immune cells, may play a role in forgetting. Science

Science and society

  • A New Jersey parent is lobbying for emergency departments to have sensory rooms and trained personnel after her suicidal autistic child was repeatedly sedated while waiting to be treated. Cherry Hill Courier-Post
  • A school district in Indiana is using a robot to help teach students with autism, as part of a research study. NWI Times
  • David Sabatini, who studies a cell-growth pathway that may be involved in autism, shares the Sjöberg Prize 2020. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • The CureGRIN Foundation, with a new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant, aims to build a global research network to study GRIN-gene-related conditions, which are sometimes misdiagnosed as autism. CureGRIN Foundation
  • A California program called Meristem helps people with autism transition to independent living as adults through hands-on work in farming and crafts. Forbes
  • People who are born blind do not develop schizophrenia, an observation that is leading to new hypotheses about the role of vision in the condition. Vice

Autism and the arts

  • Autistic adults who participate in art therapy are exhibiting their work at a Wilmington, Delaware, gallery. WHYY
  • A play about an autistic girl opens this month in Madison, Wisconsin, and features several actors who are on the spectrum. Wisconsin State Journal


  • The editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders argues for “the judicious use of person-first and identity-first language.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • The scientific journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking has published a special issue on virtual-reality interventions for autism. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

TAGS:   autism