Headshot of Sara Litvak.

Head of company that accredits autism service providers resigns after article retraction

The resignation follows reporting by Spectrum and Retraction Watch in October about nonexistent references in the retracted article.

By Ellie Kincaid
29 November 2023 | 4 min read
A crumpled piece of paper atop a stack of papers against a grey background.

Article defending private-equity involvement in autism services retracted

Nearly two-thirds of the article’s references appear to not exist.

By Ellie Kincaid, Retraction Watch
19 October 2023 | 5 min read
Portrait of Connie Kasari.
Synaptic Microphone

Social communication and developmental disorders with Connie Kasari

In this episode of “Synaptic,” Kasari talks about the need for inclusion in educating autistic children, what drew her into the autism research field, and growing up on the family farm.

By Brady Huggett
1 June 2023 | 55 min listen
Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.
Spectrum Microphone

Autism research at the crossroads

The power struggle between researchers, autistic self-advocates and parents is threatening progress across the field.

By Brady Huggett
25 January 2023 | 30 min listen
A mother and child stand, dwarfed by giant alphabet blocks spelling ABA.
Spectrum Microphone

Applied behavior analysis and autism: Flawed application of a proven science

The field of ABA needs more compassion and individualization.

By Yev Veverka
1 September 2022 | 7 min read
A mother holds her son while on a video call with a doctor.
Spectrum Microphone

Access to virtual autism therapy in U.S. could narrow post-COVID

When the federal public health emergency expires, so too could temporary insurance coverage of applied behavior analysis conducted remotely. A proposed rule could block those changes, however, at least for people with public insurance.

By Laura Dattaro
15 July 2022 | 6 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Why autism therapies have an evidence problem

Early interventions for autism lack solid data. The source of this problem is murky but may stem from ongoing debates about evidence quality and entrenched conflicts of interest within the field.

By Rachel Zamzow
14 April 2022 | 11 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Null and Noteworthy: Quality of life, IACC discussion, mixed results on interventions

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee grapples with “groundbreaking” research and two reviews of interventions come to conflicting conclusions.

By Laura Dattaro
2 December 2021 | 6 min read
A child's hand points to a location on a hand drawn map of the United States in different crayon colors.
Spectrum Microphone

Many U.S. counties lack autism therapists

Applied behavior analysis is the most widely used therapy for autistic children in the United States, but some regions lack the staff needed to provide it.

By Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky
20 April 2021 | 3 min read
Illustration depicts mother and child facing a field of doors: some are dark and some are light
Spectrum Microphone

Low standards corrode quality of popular autism therapy

Rapid growth and inadequate standards in the 'applied behavior analysis' industry may put vulnerable children in the hands of poorly prepared technicians.

By Emily Sohn
28 October 2020 | 19 min listen

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A marble bust of a face that is covered in real leaves.

Newly found circuit through visual cortex powers first look at faces

The superior colliculus, an evolutionarily ancient brain area responsible for eye movements, responds to faces before the canonical face areas do, a study of macaque monkeys suggests.

By Olivia Gieger
19 July 2024 | 5 min read

Brain organoid size matches intensity of social problems in autistic people

Overgrown organoids could point to mechanisms underlying profound autism.

By Holly Barker
18 July 2024 | 5 min read

Persistent protein pairing enables memories to last

The complex of two memory proteins, rather than the individual molecules acting independently, underlie month-long memories in mice, a new study suggests.

By Elissa Welle
17 July 2024 | 5 min read