Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. In 2013, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. The prevalence of autism in the US has increased ten-fold in the last 40 years (partly due to improved diagnosis and awareness). Currently, around one in 68 U.S. children are on the autism spectrum; 3 million people in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide currently suffer from autism.

“I Care for You”, Says the Autistic Moral Brain

“Autistic people are cold and feel no empathy.” True? It is a pervasive stereotype, but when analyzed through the lens of science, reality turns out to be quite different. According to a study at SISSA, carried out in collaboration with the University of Vienna, when autistic people are placed in “moral dilemma” situations, they show Read more

We Need to See Recovery-oriented Language in Political Campaigns

In early January, as political pundits picked up where they left off after the holiday, analyzing the ins and outs of the primary races, the Huffington Post published an article praising the language used in Hillary Clinton’s Autism initiative. Huffington Post contributor Emily Willingham makes note of the basics outlined in the briefing, including an Read more

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