Essential Reads

Does Neurodiversity Whitewash Autism?

Neurodiversity is news now, and some say it glosses over disability. I say no.

Please Stop Whitewashing Autism

NeuroTribes calls autism a "gift," but parents paint a much different picture

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

Might rising rates of autism feature in the emissions testing controversy?

What If the Diagnosis of Autism Is Wrong?

There are several reasons why children may be misdiagnosed as autistic.

Recent Posts on Autism

Purkinje Cells Burst to Life with State-Dependent Excitation

Neuroscientists have discovered that Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum toggle between a silent "down" state and a bursting "up" state depending on levels of electrical activity.

Does Neurodiversity Whitewash Autism?

There's a new book on neurodiversity - Neurotribes by Steve Silberman. And there's another one coming in a few months-In A Different Key from John Donvan and Caren Zucker. The books are putting neurodiversity in the news, and some say we're whitewashing the true nature of autism. As an autistic adult with an autistic son, I offer a dissenting view and inside perspective

Please Stop Whitewashing Autism

By Amy S.F. Lutz on September 28, 2015 Inspectrum
Steve Silberman's new book NeuroTribes is just the latest media account to recast autism as a "gift." These Facebook posts reveal, however, that the disorder can also be profoundly disabling. As we set research and policy agendas regarding treatment, education, housing and employment for autistic children and adults, we cannot forget about the most severely impaired.

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

A recent study and several previous investigations have found associations between air pollution and autism. These studies suggest increased chances of having a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder following higher exposures to diesel particulate matter, as well as in connection to proximity to a freeway.

The Ways, and Whys, of Autism

By Guest Bloggers on September 22, 2015 The Guest Room
In Uniquely Human, Dr. Barry Prizant advocates a paradigm shift in understanding and treating autism. He maintains that “autism isn’t an illness. It’s a different way of being human.”

Knowledge Is Power, in Community and Alone

We're just beginning to realize the vital importance of community among people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. Here's why it matters and what you can do to take part.

New Paradigm of Thought Demystifies Cognitive Flexibility

By Christopher Bergland on September 07, 2015 The Athlete's Way
Researchers have created a new model of cognitive flexibility based on four components.

Loving What You Hate and Hating What You Love

By Lynne Soraya on September 07, 2015 Asperger's Diary
For an autistic person, pain can be disturbingly difficult to distinguish from pleasure.

Autism Diagnoses are Rising, but Why?

The reasons behind the increased number of children diagnosed with autism remains a mystery. Some new data, however, suggests that these kids were simply diagnosed as something else in the past.

Why Do Girls and Boys with Autism Have Differing Behaviors?

By Christopher Bergland on September 04, 2015 The Athlete's Way
Researchers at Stanford University have identified that boys with autism have different brain structure than girls with autism.

What If the Diagnosis of Autism Is Wrong?

How does this happen? There are many neuropsychologists who are excellent and take time to evaluate a child. Sometimes, children do not perform well because they are afraid of the unfamiliar adult or the testing tasks and environment. Sometimes, at a young age, particularly in cases of a language delay, the child doesn’t understand the intent of the question.

Dilemmas in Diagnosis: Is it Autism, Anxiety, or Neither?

By Claudia M Gold M.D. on August 30, 2015 Child in Mind
The process of diagnostic assessment, as guided by DSM defined disorders, may limit our ability to listen to the story and gain a full understanding of a child's experience. However, it is that very understanding that leads to meaningful solutions.

Rethinking the Symptoms of Autism

The tragedy here is that, among that many symptoms of autism that are unresponsive to treatment, catatonic symptoms are highly responsive. Instead, many clinicians are still administering neuroleptics, which may make the patients worse rather than better. Medicine has the power to relieve illness, but switch a train onto the wrong track and it may just ignore the red flag

Is Your Child's Psychiatrist an Autism Expert?

By Amy S.F. Lutz on August 24, 2015 Inspectrum
Seventy percent of the autistic population suffers from co-morbid psychiatric disorders, yet psychiatrists receive very little training specific to developmental and intellectual disorders. The Developmental Neuropsychiatry Training Consortium hopes to change that.

Growing Confident: Parenting to Shatter Boundaries

If we are not willing to be vulnerable – to feel just a little bit unsafe – we will never bump into our boundaries hard enough to shatter them.

The Importance of Sex While Raising The Special Needs Child

By Lisa Thomas LMFT on August 19, 2015 Save Your Sex Life
Sex & Raising The Special Needs Child

More Research Links Autism and the Cerebellum

A new study led by Samuel Wang, professor of molecular biology at Princeton University, suggests that abnormalities of the cerebellum are correlated with some of the sensory difficulties seen in autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Probiotics May Help Alleviate Autism Symptoms

Experiments with mice show that optimal gut bacterial balance can reduce autism-like symptoms.

Brain Organoids Show Predicted Epigenetic Effects in Autism

New evidence from cultured brain cells of autistics shows that over-expression of a brain growth gene is critical, just as predicted by the imprinted brain theory.

Do “Autism Parents” Face Increased Stigma for Mental Health?

Despite the fact that mental health is centrally tied to our overall well-being, parents of children with autism may find themselves not only combating the general public’s shared stigma related to mental illness and therapeutic services, but must also contend with additional challenges in overcoming the stigmatization of supporting their own psychological needs.

More Special Ed Kids Are Diagnosed as Autistic

By Temma Ehrenfeld on July 23, 2015 Open Gently
More kids are classified as autistic who used to be considered intellectually disabled in other ways.

Can Oxytocin Fortify Resilience Against Childhood Adversity?

A new study from Emory University reports that manipulating the oxytocin system has the potential to fortify a person's resilience against childhood adversity, abuse, or neglect.

Reviewing the Evidence for Mental Illness Being Epigenetic

The basic claim of the imprinted brain theory that gene expression is critical in neuro-development is vindicated by a new review of the data.

Creativity and Intelligence Leading to Psychosis and Autism

Creativity and intelligence, though related, are opposites on a continuum. The same type of dichotomy exists between psychosis and autism and the underlying processes are surmised to be similar.

Reading Too Much Into the Real Face Book

We know that autistics have deficits in interpreting facial expression, but now we also know that, as predicted by the diametric model, people with schizotypal traits do the opposite and exaggerate facial expression.

A Service Dog Stops an Autistic From a Self-Harming Meltdown

A remarkable video shows a service dog coming to rescue a woman from an autistic self-harming experience

6 Tips for a Fun 4th of July for Parents of Kids With Autism

The 4th of July is a fun and exciting holiday filled with many amazing activities for your children. However, for some individuals with autism and their families, the crowded public spaces and the crack and shimmer of fireworks can be difficult and uncomfortable.

How Does Your Child Sleep?

Having difficulty getting your child to bed down in the evenings? Check out this new book for frazzled families.

ART in ASD, Part One

Could imbalance in the autonomic nervous system explain the complexity and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Could teaching kids and families affected by ASD skills in autonomic regulation broadly improve comfort and functioning? This is the first of three blog posts on our work at the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at RIT.

Testing the “Extreme Female Brain” Theory of Psychosis

The “extreme female brain” theory is added to the extreme male one of autism, but both add up to much less than the imprinted brain theory.