Adults with autism

Conceptual image of colorful falling letters, casting shadows on a white wall.

Some minimally verbal autistic people show signs of written-language familiarity, study suggests

But researchers not involved in the work worry the findings could be used to support discredited facilitated-communication techniques.

By Calli McMurray
9 May 2024 | 7 min read
two people sit on opposite edges of a cliff

Spectrum 10K consultation report delayed

The U.K.-based genetics study launched the consultation more than a year ago in response to fierce criticism from autistic self-advocates.

By Cathleen O’Grady
7 March 2024 | 3 min read
A woman sits on the edge of her bed in a darkened room

Life expectancy lags for autistic people in United Kingdom

The finding confirms past research that links autism to early death, but it also suggests that the life expectancy gap may be smaller than previously thought.

By Gina Jiménez
15 February 2024 | 3 min read
Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.

Year in Review: Spectrum’s best in 2023

Here are five must-reads from our coverage of autism research over the past 12 months.

28 December 2023 | 4 min read

Autism research hits the road

Some scientists are thinking creatively about how to collect data in flexible environments and meet communities where they’re at.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
8 December 2023 | 0 min watch

Building bridges: Collaboration across the autism community

An autistic person and the mother of an autistic child explore partnership in the autism community.

By Samantha Easter, Amy S.F. Lutz
24 October 2023 | 10 min read
A group of elementary school children run toward the entrance of a school, their backs turned to the camera.
Spectrum Microphone

Journal club: Why do some children lose their autism diagnosis?

More than one-third of a cohort of autistic toddlers no longer meet criteria for the condition at school age, according to a new study, but the findings may not generalize because the cohort is predominantly white and affluent.

By Deborah Fein
9 October 2023 | 5 min listen
An illustration of a hand placing letters spelling the word voice on a black board.
Spectrum Microphone

Debate unfurls over inclusivity and authenticity in research involving minimally verbal autistic people

Autism researchers can’t agree on how far to go to validate the input they gather from minimally verbal autistic people who use certain communication devices.

By Brendan Borrell
25 September 2023 | 11 min read
An illustration of a blank figure walking on a narrow plank accross murky water

Link between autism and transness being misused, scientists say

Some researchers are pushing back — with mixed results.

By Emmet Fraizer
8 September 2023 | 6 min read
Illustration of a series of web browser windows overlaid over a face, distorting it.
Ethics Microphone

Scammers threaten quality of research survey data

Jammed online surveys and invaded video calls are forcing researchers to rethink their outreach methods.

By Shaena Montanari
24 August 2023 | 10 min listen

Explore more from The Transmitter

Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read
Portrait of Kaspar Podgorski standing in his lab wearing a helmet with a climbing rope over his shoulder.

Climbing to new heights: Q&A with Kaspar Podgorski

The optical physiologist tracks neural computations inside the lab and scales sheer rock faces outside—even after a life-changing fall.

By Elissa Welle
21 June 2024 | 8 min read
Research illustration groups genes by their effects on brain cell types.

Giant analysis reveals how autism-linked genes affect brain cell types

Genes that predispose people to autism account for a large portion of the neuronal and glial cell changes seen in those with the condition.

By Charles Q. Choi
20 June 2024 | 5 min read