PDD-NOS

Illustration shows a boy with converging patterns overlapping; these lines signify autism and intellectual disability.

The blurred line between autism and intellectual disability

Doctors often conflate autism and intellectual disability, and no wonder: The biological distinction between them is murky. Scientific progress depends on knowing where the conditions intersect — and part ways.

By Emily Sohn
15 April 2020 | 15 min read
Photo: Autistic woman Becky Audette lies on a couch under a purple blanket.

Rebooting Becky’s brain

An electrical brain implant all but erased the obsessions that had consumed Becky Audette, years after her autism diagnosis. Could similar implants help other people with severe autism?

By Ingrid Wickelgren
12 September 2018 | 28 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Few people mourn Asperger syndrome’s loss from diagnostic manuals

Our concept of autism has evolved over the past 20 years, rendering redundant the diagnostic labels of Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.

By David Skuse
9 May 2018 | 4 min read
People standing with shapes around them

The evolution of ‘autism’ as a diagnosis, explained

From a form of childhood schizophrenia to a spectrum of conditions, the characterization of autism in diagnostic manuals has a complicated history.

By Lina Zeldovich
9 May 2018 | 7 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Narrowing of ‘autism’ in DSM-5 runs counter to idea of broad spectrum

The strict definition of autism in the latest version of the diagnostic manual is antithetical to the idea that autism comes in a wide variety of forms.

By Brian Reichow, Fred Volkmar
9 May 2018 | 5 min read

Why the definition of autism needs to be refined

Five years after its latest revision, the manual used to diagnose autism is back under scrutiny, as evidence suggests it excludes some people on the spectrum.

By Lina Zeldovich
9 May 2018 | 14 min read

Why no one needs a diagnosis of ‘social communication disorder’

A diagnosis of social communication disorder only keeps people from a community and resources they desperately want and need.

By Helen Tager-Flusberg
17 April 2018 | 4 min read

Prevalence plateau; herbal inquiry; protein profile and more

Autism prevalence plateaued for the years 2014 to 2016, a review finds no evidence that herbal therapies for autism work, and a panel of four proteins in blood may distinguish children with autism.

By Emily Willingham
5 January 2018 | 4 min read

Wide awake: Why children with autism struggle with sleep

Half of children who have autism have trouble falling or staying asleep, which may make their symptoms worse. Scientists are just beginning to explore what goes wrong in the midnight hour.

By Ingfei Chen
7 October 2015 | 16 min read

Screening toddlers for autism is worthwhile

A Norwegian study published in February suggested that the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers fails to detect many cases of autism at 18 months of age. The creators of the test explain why there’s more to the story.

By Deborah Fein, Diana Robins
29 April 2014 | 6 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Research image of a variety of brain atlases.

New ‘decoder’ tool translates functional neuroimaging terms across labs

The compendium of brain-parcellation atlases makes it possible to compare large-scale network data, which often involves different and overlapping network names.

By Holly Barker
23 July 2024 | 4 min read
Research image showing connectivity in brain regions in female mice with and without a UBE3A variant.

CNTNAP2 variants; trait trajectories; sensory reactivity

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 22 July.

By Jill Adams
23 July 2024 | 2 min read

Women are systematically under-cited in neuroscience. New tools can change that.

An omitted citation in a high-profile paper led us to examine our own practices and to help others adopt tools that promote citation diversity.

By Anne Churchland, Felicia Davatolhagh
22 July 2024 | 5 min read