Brain Changes in Autism Are Far More Extensive Than Previously Known

Brain Scan Concept Animation

According to new research, brain changes in autism are comprehensive throughout the cerebral cortex rather than just particular areas thought to affect social behavior and language

UCLA study is the most comprehensive effort ever to study how autism affects the brain at the molecular level.

Brain changes in autism are comprehensive throughout the cerebral cortex, not only confined to particular regions traditionally considered to affect language and social behavior. These are the findings of a new study, led by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which substantially refines scientists’ understanding of how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) progresses at the molecular level. 

Published on November 2 in the journal Nature, the study represents a comprehensive effort to characterize ASD at the molecular level. Although neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease have well-defined pathologies, autism and other psychiatric disorders have had a lack of defining pathology. This had made it particularly difficult to develop more effective treatments. 

The new study finds brain-wide changes in virtually all of the 11 cortical regions analyzed. This holds true regardless of whether they are higher critical association regions – those involved in functions such as reasoning, language, social cognition, and mental flexibility – or primary sensory regions. 

“This work represents the culmination of more than a decade of work of many lab members, which was necessary to perform such a comprehensive analysis of the autism brain,” said study author Dr. Daniel Geschwind, the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, Neurology and Psychiatry at UCLA.

“We now finally are beginning to get a picture of the state of the brain, at the molecular level, of the brain in individuals who had a diagnosis of autism. This provides us with a molecular pathology, which similar to other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke, provides a key starting point for understanding the disorder’s mechanisms, which will inform and accelerate development of disease-altering therapies.”

Just over a decade ago, Geschwind led the first effort to identify autism’s molecular pathology by focusing on two brain regions, the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe. Those regions were chosen because they are higher-order association regions involved in higher cognition – especially social cognition, which is disrupted in ASD.  

For the new study, researchers examined gene expression in 11 cortical regions by sequencing RNA from each of the four main cortical lobes. They compared brain tissue samples obtained after death from 112 people with ASD against healthy brain tissue. 

While each profiled cortical region showed changes, the largest drop off in gene levels were in the visual cortex and the parietal cortex, which processes information like touch, pain and temperature. The researchers said this may reflect the sensory hypersensitivity that is frequently reported in people with ASD. Researchers found strong evidence that the genetic risk for autism is enriched in a specific neuronal module that has lower expression across the brain, indicating that RNA changes in the brain are likely the cause of ASD rather than a result of the disorder.

One of the next steps is to determine whether researchers can use computational approaches to develop therapies based on reversing gene expression changes the researchers found in ASD, Geschwind said, adding that researchers can use organoids to model the changes in order to better understand their mechanisms.

Reference: “Broad transcriptomic dysregulation occurs across the cerebral cortex in ASD” by Michael J. Gandal, Jillian R. Haney, Brie Wamsley, Chloe X. Yap, Sepideh Parhami, Prashant S. Emani, Nathan Chang, George T. Chen, Gil D. Hoftman, Diego de Alba, Gokul Ramaswami, Christopher L. Hartl, Arjun Bhattacharya, Chongyuan Luo, Ting Jin, Daifeng Wang, Riki Kawaguchi, Diana Quintero, Jing Ou, Ye Emily Wu, Neelroop N. Parikshak, Vivek Swarup, T. Grant Belgard, Mark Gerstein, Bogdan Pasaniuc and Daniel H. Geschwind, 2 November 2022, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05377-7

Other authors include Michael J. Gandal, Jillian R. Haney, Brie Wamsley, Chloe X. Yap, Sepideh Parhami, Prashant S. Emani, Nathan Chang, George T. Chen, Gil D. Hoftman, Diego de Alba, Gokul Ramaswami, Christopher L. Hartl, Arjun Bhattacharya, Chongyuan Luo, Ting Jin, Daifeng Wang, Riki Kawaguchi, Diana Quintero, Jing Ou, Ye Emily Wu, Neelroop N. Parikshak, Vivek Swarup, T. Grant Belgard, Mark Gerstein, and Bogdan Pasaniuc. The authors declared no competing interests. 

This work was funded by grants to Geschwind (NIMHR01MH110927, U01MH115746, P50-MH106438 and R01MH109912, R01MH094714), Gandal (SFARI Bridge to Independence Award, NIMH R01-MH121521, NIMH R01-MH123922 and NICHD-P50-HD103557), and Haney (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Los Angeles Founder Chapter, UCLA Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program). 

106 Comments on "Brain Changes in Autism Are Far More Extensive Than Previously Known"

  1. Please forgive me if I’ve misunderstood, but the language used in this article seems to imply that autism is a disease. It is hard enough trying to survive in a society designed only for the needs of neurotypical citizens without you labelling us as diseased.

  2. Because we are the salt, the out of the box thinkers. We are not broken. We are purposefully different.

  3. I don’t comment on articles like this like, at all. But the structuring of everything in this article pisses me off. It makes it seem like autism is an inherently bad thing.

    Which as an Autistic person myself, is just downright insulting.

    Just because we think and act differently doesn’t make our behaviour detrimental or even need treatment! It just means you bloody normies can’t create living space in your horrific cog machine you call a society for people who see things far differently than you narrow minded warmongering freaks.

    We’re considered the problem when the most we do is just want to be left alone when you keep on being overbearing and intrusive with your “fixes” and your demands of everything being “perfect”, while making cartoons that time and time again teach a lesson that “perfection” isn’t reachable.

    Which so far, nobody has listened to in the entirety of humanity. The humanity that is “normal and not misshapen.”

    • I am very happy you have a high function level autism. Unfortunately for some they have children with very strong level of autism making them unable to even do basic functions. There are kids who are uncommunicative and need 100% care through the whole duration of their life. For many autism is a blessing for some it’s a huge setback.

      • You’re completely missing the point of that comment, and being quite pretentious. While it would help many people if the effects of their autism could be medically reversed or at least lessened, autism still should not be viewed as something to be cured. If you personally know any autistic people, I strongly encourage you to do some research and reevaluate your views for their sake, because you’re still using outdated terms like “high-functioning”.

  4. My goal was to reach my child to let them know that I love them. I’m not sure why I thought that was necessary but I thought it was prerequisite to enable me to better prepare them for the ugly incongruity of the world they’d face alone one day. After my failures I realized that it was as much me who failed to understanding and accommodate them as the other way around. I suspect it causes me more pain and frustration than it does them! My child is very smart and my desire is to insulate them from pain, rejection and the frustrations associated with failures to mutually connect with each other. I have no training in this stuff and I feel like I failed them as a parent. I didn’t even finish high school due to my own psychological issues and learning difficulties. I tried though. I would write stories using characters who identified in non-mainstream ways in hope of reaching & connecting with each other. I even made one into a children’s book and actually published it to give out to possibly help other parents struggling as I was. For that particular case the concept was a young bear’s perspective who when he encountered humans for the first time saw them as “hairless bears” with long skinny arms and high pitched voices. They smelled awful but they ran away, leaving him with the delicious picnic food they had abandoned in their fearful haste. I read this article about the spectrum brain’s molecular physiology just now as I’m preparing to go to a book fair in Miami to sign and give away as many copies as I have left. I never even considered selling them but I don’t know if this bookfair host will allow that or not. I have actually paid for this, the only opportunity I’ve had to display it publicly, so hopefully that’s up to me. I don’t know if my modest efforts will even be helpful to anyone like my own Silver Dragon and me but I hope so. If there IS something we can do to enhance our relationship and communication I want to know about it. I am afraid of pushing myself on them. To the researchers, it’s somewhat disheartening while equally enlightening to read about this new information. Any advice you can give to parents and persons attempting to improve their interactions will by very much appreciated as we are typically alone and almost desperate for ways to help. Thank you for allowing me to write this commentary. Whether you publish it or not it has felt cathartic to express my deep concerns as I am sitting and writing from my work truck in my driveway.

    • Katherine Upston | November 8, 2022 at 3:04 am | Reply

      Thank you for that comment. I agree with you. My son is 13 I am 53 I had him at 39 and I am a LVN, which in no way has really helped me to understand my son’s DX. He was DX at 7-7 yrs old 2st grade. He did kindergarten x2 not due to his academic ability but his behavioral delays socially, and I had been looking for answers since age 3 from early intervention to IEPs and One on one aids. Public school is and has been our biggest challenge. He loves music, and performing in all ways. He is very smart DX with ASD. And I just want him to be his very best person as I will not always be here to help him.He is my life, and I just know there has to be some sort of Tx besides medication to help him. And I pray when I’m no longer here he will not suffer. As he has in public schooling. The NPS have been even worse from direct abuse from staff to kids who are not on the spectrum. California was where I assumed he could get the help and guidance he will need. ASD DX is very different with everyone. And the lack of understanding in public aswell as public schools has been beyond frustrating. His behaviors haven’t been very decent at times and it’s hard to explain what he really means at times to other people. I could go on and on . I just would like to say I agree with you 100, and the more I can research the better I am able to help my son. Society and kids are crual. And discrimination is REAL. SO THANKS AGAIN. AND TO SLL The Parents OF THESE AMAZING CHILDREN Bless ALL OF YOU. I VONTINUE TO NE MY SOMS SOCIAL VOICE AS LONG AS I SM ON THIS EARTH, AND LEARN ALL I CAN , Teach HIM ALL I CAN . AND PUT ARRANGMENTS IN Place FOR HIM After IM GONE. MY SON HAS DONE AMAZING OFF MEDS WITH Direction AND Therapy ABA,CPT. A NEUROPSYCH IS NEST FIR ASD Children IS MY OPINION. WE ALL NEED TO DEMAND And FIGHT FOR OUR KIDOS. NOONE KNOWS HOW TO FO THIS. UNTIL ITS YOUR CHILD . AND Frustration IS THE EASY Part. I HOPE RESEARCHES CONTINUE MY SON IS Sensitivity TO VACCINES. AND I DONT THINK THEY ARE SAFE FOR HIM. HE HAS A Awesome IMMUNE SYSTEM AND DOES NOT GET SICK. I HOPE RESEARCHES CONTINUE DO THIS AND HELP OUR SWEET BABYS. THANKS AGAIN. THE MORE KNOWLEDGE THE BETTER.

  5. Can you please use a little more sensitivity toward people who are on the ASD Spectrum? Our brains are not ‘diseased’, as implied by describing a neurotypical brain as ‘healthy’ within the article. The research is not pointing to deficits in the brain either, it is leading to a mapping of a neurodivergent brain. This will lead to a wider understanding of why someone who is ASD thinks and behaves the way that they do. Neurodivergency is a natural evolutionary way of existing that differs from the norm in order to supply mankind with alternate thought processes. Otherwise homogeneous thought would only cause the human population to become stagnate. There would be no more moving forward as a society without diverse thought.

  6. I hate when autistic people are seen as something that need to be ‘fixed’. We are not diseased, and there is nothing wrong with us. Just because our brains don’t work the same as neurotypicals doesn’t mean that we are broken. I’m all for studies that help autistic people. Instead of taking the results of this study to try to ‘cure’ autism, they could use it see how the RNA changes affect other systems (joint and digestive disorders are often co-morbid with autism). Maybe do a study to find a better way to diagnose ASD, especially in adults. It is difficult and expensive for adults to be diagnosed, and without a diagnosis, society generally treats those with ASD as either childish, lazy, and/or anti-social (many still do after diagnosis, but that’s a separate issue). And refuse to understand why traditional jobs are difficult or impossible.

    TLDR:; Autistic people don’t need cured. We need society to realize that our brains work differently. To be accepted as we are.

  7. Well, lets get rid of the left-handed, people with red hair, and any other non-majority phenotypes while we’re at it. It might be devastating for a parent to have a non-verbal child, but eliminating autism, which is not a pathology but a normal but less common brain physiology, would eliminate poets/authors/artists like Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, George Orwell, Leonardo daVinci, Michaelangelo, and Charles Schulz; musicians like Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and John Denver; actors/directors like Dan Akroyd, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stephen Speilberg; scientists like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and Barbara McClintock; inventors like Henry Ford, Nicola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, and Temple Grandin, entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, etc. How much poorer would out society be without the contributions of these folks and others like them?
    Maybe try not to “cure” something that is a natural variation, and instead learn about the differences and how some changes can lead to artistic and intellectual brilliance. Learn about how to understand what changes lead to people becoming these luminaries. And learn how to communicate with the non-verbal people on the spectrum. Just because we do not know how to communicate with someone who sits and flaps their hands does not mean they are intellectually stunted (reference Fiacre Ryan, who is non-verbal yet writes poetry).

  8. I felt that this article was referring to the autistic brain as diseased. Our brains are not diseased, they are simply different. If you think that different is wrong, then, I don’t know, you probably would love to get rid of anything else that isn’t a social normality.

    This article referred to ‘disease altering therapies’. Autism is not a disease that must be cured at all, so why are you developing therapy so that autism can be ‘altered’?

    As an autistic person, I found this article quite insulting.

  9. Offensichtlich gibt es keine neuropsychiatrischen Krankheiten mehr. Sind alle nur “neurodivergent” 🤣
    Realitätsverleugning at it’s best.

  10. Good for you all advocating for yourselves and others who are On the spectrum. Life would be missing many beautiful minds & intellect if We left it to these inconsiderate & ignorant lab “Scientists”. I appreciate and love the mind my daughter has and many With Autism. Thanks for your comments!

  11. Reading through the comments, I saw several by people who say they have ASD and are offended by this research that aims to better understand Autism in the hopes of developing future therapy options. Now, I am a parent of a child with Autism, and for him it is debilitating and prevents him from being able to participate in many things that other children often do. I’m glad this research is being done, and if you’re able to live a full & independent life with autism, then count your blessings and maybe this isn’t for you. Please dont begrudge those who might want and benefit from any potential treatment options that may become available. I recognize that many very talented autistic people have done amazing things, but for some, the dysfunction it causes outweighs the benefits autism can have.

    • Wearethenewhumanity | November 6, 2022 at 1:55 am | Reply

      You are terrible parent. You understand nothing about our evolution, and are trying to fit him into a world that does not want us.

      • Im a terrible parent for wanting my child to be able to participate in life? Do you need someone to change your diapers? Does someone need to prevent you from running away from the house so you dont run in front of a car? I doubt it if you are able to get online and troll people.

        • Ryan, yes, some autistic people have a more difficult time than others when it comes to integrating with society, but society is the problem—not us. Those of us who do succeed in integrating do it through “masking”, where we hide who we really are in order to be accepted. It’s an inherently traumatic life to have your fundamental identity be constantly rejected by virtually all of society.

    • Hi Ryan
      The research is good, and therapy is much needed, but the wording and perspective of the person writing this article is inferring that autism is a disease and that it needs to be cured, whereas those of us able to communicate and be heard have to constantly correct people that our autism is not a disease, and it is society which needs to change.
      As someone who might be considered by others to be ‘high functioning’, I work supporting autistic people with more visibly profound needs than me, but I have scars on my heart from emotional distress, and so called ‘high functioning autistics’ are the highest risk group for suicide. The majority of autistics with independent lives are struggling to survive, with a life expectancy of 54 years. Autistics speaking out are not dividing ourselves between high and low functioning, but arguing for a change in society’s understanding which enables all of us.

  12. Im a terrible parent for wanting my child to be able to participate in life? Do you need someone to change your diapers? Does someone need to prevent you from running away from the house so you dont run in front of a car? I doubt it if you are able to get online and troll people.

  13. Lots of offended people … i suppose they ccould have been more sensitive tgough. If you are autistic and functional, thats great! Autism seems to have many benefits, especially for high functioning individuals. For some it is debilitating and they need to be taken care of. I dont think we should begrudge looking into options for those people.

  14. Form of Possession? In the Bible, Christ was constantly removing demons from humans. Today it is truly not PC to say serious “mental illness” of say mass murderers is not demonic Possession. Could be.

  15. Hannah Grimwood | November 6, 2022 at 3:43 am | Reply

    I read this article with disgust. I want to stand in support with autistic people. Autism is not a disease and does not need a cure. Neuro typical people need to develop more understanding. I work with autistic people and every day I meet the most amazing, interesting and intelligent people who enrich my life and hopefully give me a better understanding of the world seen through diverse eyes. These doctors searching to define a pathology are fascists.

  16. Most of these comments appear to be left by higher functioning ASD people. However as a loving and patient father of a 11 year old ASD son who is nonverbal I applaud this science study. Some people who are AUTISTIC can make a choice to go thru medical trials and treatments, but my son doesn’t have that ability. I pray for the day science develops a medical treatment for my son.
    And for the rest of you that disparage researchers and doctors for trying to help ASD people like my son, you make the choice not to be involved, but don’t think it is your right to vilify. My son deserves a chance to be able to one day voice his thoughts..

    • Hi David,
      It’s not the research I object to, but the wording of this article, which suggests autism is a disease which needs to be cured, and I believe this is what others are also offended by.
      A great many problems autistic people face are caused by social design and a failure to accept or understand autism, and it is autistic people who are expected to change to fit society. I imagine you must have experienced aspects of this in trying to get the support you need for your son. I think the research itself is very important.

  17. Next they will be looking to cure me of being tall. Autism is not a disease and I don’t want to be ‘cured’. How about instead we search for therapy to make neurotypical people less excited by bright lights, loud music, and meaningless debate. If we teach them to be ‘normal’ like us, then there would be no problem.

  18. I read all the comments and gladly noticed how people on a spectrum reacted to this article. It always disgust me, this need of neuro typical people on trying to”fix” those who thinks and acts differently. We have broken, ugly society, bunch of same-thinking and acting people and yet we try to “cure” those, who are-in my subjective opinion- better than us. It’s because we can’t stand it for some reasons. I’m a typical person, but a mum of super cool and fantastic son with autism. Who is so smart, and kind, and beautiful human being, and he taught me so many meaningful things and emotions which society, education have failed to deliver. I would not change him for a world! As a fact, I wish that more typical people could have a chance to interact with an autistic person and have the change to learn, like I did ! We should pay them for that outstanding opportunity to be a part of their world for only a moment! We should cure ourselves and our broken to core society, not autism! That’s all. Love love love for all autistic beautiful being out there ! ❤️

  19. Did you actually mean “changes” and not “differences”? There is a lack of pathologies because it is not a disease. People with autism do not need “cure”.

  20. To the writer:
    Are you sure you are not Autistic, as one of the characteristics of Autism is Insensitivity to others. Otherwise very intelligent. Disease leads to death. Rethink.

    • Nah, the insensitivity mostly comes from not being able to tell what a neurotipical person is thinking due to having hard time with recognazing nonverbal communication. This person is just ableist towards autistic people.

  21. Most objections to this article seem a bit short-sighted. “Disease” is proper medical terminology. It’s used correctly. Whereas, in vernacular use, “disease” typically means a healthy, functioning system that later becomes disrupted, usually by external factors such as pathogens.

    Developing treatments for autism does not require people to be treated. An adult diagnosed with ASD would have the choice of being treated or not. The crime would be in denying everyone treatment when a treatment is available.

    ASD is a spectrum where. In the extreme, it condemns those so afflicted to being incapable of functioning in society. Extreme forms are detectable at an early age. Treatment would rightly be a decision made between the child’s parents and their doctor (and is not at all the same as the questionable decision to circumcise a child.)

    I was not diagnosed with ASD until I was 63. Life has been he!!. I missed many career opportunities and nearly lost my life several times because of it. Being forced to develop workarounds for things others took for granted may have contributed to my artistry, the only enduring refuge I had. Would my art and life have been different if I had been able to interact with others or pursue opportunities as they occurred? Perhaps. In the end, who would consciously choose to wait till 63 to start life–as in my case, at last being properly treated–rather than starting at 8, 18, or 28?

    Finally, many researchers of autism are themselves on the spectrum. That’s often the reason why they chose to study it. They are not ignorant and misinformed: They know what it’s like to be on the spectrum.

  22. I normally never comment on articles, but this one genuinely disgusted me. This article treats autism as a disease that needs a cure, when the exact opposite is true. The neurotypical neanderthal troglodytes playing chicken with their nukes and raping the natural world need a cure, not us. The modern world exists thanks to advancements, discoveries, and inventions made by the humans you’re labeling “diseased”. One such example is Blaise Pascal, French physicist and mathemetician, whose life’s work laid the foundation of hydraulic technology. Had he not been socially introverted, creative, and obsessive over his work, the modern world as we know it wouldn’t exist. There would be nothing capable of building it. Take away people like him, and the rest of humanity won’t last long. In conclusion, I am horrified people are still using pseudoscientific nazi rhetoric to suggest mass eugenics, and I hope for the good of the world that we outnumber neurotypicals very soon.

  23. I prefer stems cell therapy is best option same result getting to person I already try for my son

  24. Don’t confuse Asperger’s syndrome or “ADHD” with true Autism. Every “autistic” answering here is somewhere “on the autism scale”, which really points out that researchers still haven’t figured this out yet. If you’re here being insulted by this article, you aren’t the true Autism to which this article refers.

    Most of you are Asperger’s syndrome cases I’d wager. There is real autism which is brain damage, straight up, and it acts like a stroke. My son is a true autistic (and also Asperger’s, lucky me), and the brain damage is like a stroke with the inability to use words or classes of words (in my son’s case, food items is one class he just can’t use).

    It’s real brain damage. It sucks. It needs research, and all you guys here being offended does nothing to help real Autism cases. Divorce yourself from the idea of calling yourselves autistic. You aren’t the ones this research is trying to solve. You are different, not autistic.

    • As one of the people you are addressing here, John, I agree with almost everything you said. We are confused about autism — and not the just common understanding. Researchers and clinicians are also still confused about what and whom we are even talking about.

      If I had been evaluated while Aspergers was still diagnosed, that probably would have been my diagnosis. I could also have never received any diagnosis, and lived my life just fine without much hardship aside from people occasionally calling me eccentric.

      I agree with you that mine is a different condition from the one that this research could meaningfully benefit. And I have no need to fight over who gets to claim the word autistic — but I can’t divorce myself from the idea of calling myself autistic, even though your suggestion seems wise.

      Because, for me, the diagnosis featured prominently in domestic violence and abuse that I suffered, it was weaponized by a spouse. It then had a negative and paralyzing effect on the advice and representation I was able to obtain from lawyers about dealing with the same, in a form I’ll call undue paternalism. (I could not omit the detail I was autistic, the evidence of my case spoke it loudly.) In these ways, my life has felt like a perverse version of the movie Trading Places.

      I also worry about the world my son grows up in and how it might treat him. He’s diagnosed, but only 4 so it’s still unclear whether he’ll be impacted minimally something like how I was, or if he may have serious limitations and care needs that persist into adulthood. Just trying to support him in the ways that his needs present themselves, for now.

      • I think we all read it wrong. The article reads that disease altering therapies could work for autism disorders. They did not classify autism as a disease, but rather as a disorder. However, the new study does show similarities in brain function as parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke patients.

  25. Wow, if you didn’t get anything out of this article then move along. You leaving horrible messages and belittling others doesn’t make any of you better people. There are some of us with grown adult children with autism, that have been through hell and back. If you have not been in our shoes you wouldn’t understand. If there is a glimmer of hope for my 27 yr old son to have any better aspects in life than he does now, I welcome the study and progress of science.

  26. As a parent of an adult son with moderate autism, find nothing in this article offensive. I care for him daily and appreciate the continued efforts of these scientists to seek the cause and cures for this disorder. Anything to help make the lives of those that are affected better, easier, more manageable…I welcome. If you are a person on the spectrum and have overcome the challenges to function in society, I applaud you and your efforts but make no mistake that it took extra effort to do that. These findings could potentially change how we approach autism in the future. I know there are many factors that play their role in wonder wheel of autism but it’s vital we sort them out and help those that suffer because of it. It can be devasting to the individuals, families, friends, care providers, teachers, health care workers and so on. Not to mention how it affects us all financially.

  27. Let me get this straight. Apparently autistic folks are diseased? Thats not good wording to have when neurodivergency is just natural variation in the population. Our diffefent way of viewing things leads to new discoveries, and we blossom under the right circumstances. A lot of our difficulties in our supposed ‘disease’ come from people not trying to understand us. You are contributing to this problem by pathologizing us. I expected better. Shame on you.

  28. Christopher Rasmussen | November 6, 2022 at 9:07 am | Reply

    To all the people with ASD that criticized this article, I find it odd that you all missed that what the ‘S’ stands for. I myself have autistic traits. My father was definitely on the spectrum, but managed to live a successful life. My brother didn’t walk or talk until age five. He has had to be cared for his entire sixty plus years. He has been unable to go to school work, or have any real social life. For his family, autism has been a life long financial and emotional burden. For him, it has prevented him from so much that he did, and still does, desire.

  29. Without the contribution of Autistic minds there isn’t any science to publish, or internet, or computers to view it on or electricity to power it. Please learn to address us with respect and not this eugenic bs!

  30. Hello, i welcome all awareness & new research on Autism. All these breakthroughs will promote advancement in medical intervention to improve the lives of low functioning and learning disabilities children. We should learn to appreciate new research papers and not just keep evaluating everything emotionally. These are just findings simplified for common man to understand.

  31. I share the frustration expressed in many other comments by other autistic readers. Why is autism being viewed as inherently a problem? That isn’t to downplay the many problems some autistic people do have, it’s to point out something carelessly overbroad about the language in this article. But I think the point is just as much about the science itself. Why is our effort to learn about autism so attached to the goal of erasing it? There are plenty of autistic people who would jump at the opportunity to ‘cure’ autism, but there are also plenty like me who read this with chilly shivers, sensing something vaguely eugenic about it. There’s no need to adjudicate between the two viewpoints — others can pursue the treatments that make sense for them, and I don’t have to. Similarly, plenty of women wouldn’t dream of ever having a breast augmentation, and wouldn’t dream either of objecting if someone else does. The problem though is that both the science and the reporting, even if the purpose is noble, are focused on something much broader than would be appropriate. Can you imagine if we tried to address teenage suicide by eliminating the aberrant sexualities that are often associated with it? Or if we tried to prevent Munchausen syndrome by re-programming women’s brains? That would be wrong-headed, wouldn’t it?

  32. We are not going to defy science for you not to feel offended. I honestly believe that you are not autistic people but offended parents who would like their autistic children to be special. You need to understand that science can help your children a lot! And my nephew is autistic and I really hope that the science will help him and makes his life better in the future!

  33. As a non-Autistic neurodivergent person I concur with the above comments. If the article is accurate, the whole research perspective is ethically and scientifically dubious. Autistic brains are not disordered or “changed” versions of neurotypical brains, and the point of scientific study is not to create or propagate labels about who among us is “normal” and who is “disordered”. We compare child/adult or male/female neurology because if what the differences we find teach us about both, and this is, or at least should be, equally true of neurotypical/neurodivergent brains. Some Autistic people are severely affected and might welcome treatments that might someday result from the research. Others might not. But we should not assume in either group that anyone is “sick” or will be “cured” by it. The point is to understand our brains better, in all of their diversity, in order that we make the best possible use of them in our own lives and the contributions that each of us make. Anyone who studies the human brain studies her/him/themself. The odds are high that some of the research authors carry some Autism genes and that they are better scientists because of it.

  34. I am a parent of a 7 year old boy with ASD and a severe Intellectual Disability. Like most of the other comments on here, I do find it offensive that the article sees Autism as a disease that needs to be fixed or cured. I would love my son to have some help communicating (as he is non verbal) but I would not want to change who he is. I want him to be proud of his differences and be accepted in society as someone who just thinks outside the square better that NT’s like myself. I’m all for finding out what causes his differences but it doesn’t mean he needs to be fixed, just some help to be able to do things as he grows up to look after himself, but not change the way he things or feels….

  35. If professional researchers want to help, they might develop a language that suits our non linear, time asynchronous thought style. Social breakthroughs, not medications. Of course, there is far less money involved in pro social work that cannot be packaged as a product without finally setting off a red flag in majority minds.

  36. Wow! It’s like rewinding through the taken that took there in order to recover.

  37. Autism is a doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m “special”, “quirky” or “gifted”, just disappointed at everything I fail at.

    My son gets frustrated and angry because he tries so hard and he still can’t do things he wants to.

    I don’t understand why it’s glorified so much when it’s not a fun disability to have.
    Maybe it is joyful for high functioning autistics? I wouldn’t know and I can’t claim to.

    At 38 I would love to live life without needing a carer.
    I’m sure my 8 year old son would love to be able to dress, bathe and use the toilet himself but he doesn’t have a say in the matter either.

    I would do anything to be cured of my autism – I have so many dreams that I want to achieve.

    No more carers! I want to cook on my own, clean the house, learn to drive, get a job, retake year 10 in high school and understand my classes so I can actually pass them all!

    Imagine what my 8 year old could do – he could use the toilet, shower himself, dress himself, talk to people… he wouldn’t feel so angry and frustrated with himself everytime he tries something and he fails.

    I understand a lot of people may be happy being autistic because their lives are not like ours and that’s okay. You’re already living your best life.

    We are lower functioning autistics that require a lot of support in our daily lives and not being autistic would improve our quality of life.

    I have spent 1 hour trying to find the correct words and make the right sentences for this post and it’s not even close to my actual thoughts, just close enough that it kind of says what I mean but I feel it sounds hostile, which is not my intent, just being honest and saying what’s true for my little family.

    I did my best and I hope it’s enough.
    Take care everyone.💙

  38. The way you structure that makes Autism sound like a disease (news flash: it isn’t).

    Maybe next time don’t structure the paper to make it sound like one.

  39. My family is full of autism which we used to call Asperger’s. I consider myself on the spectrum. But I’ve not been diagnosed. I’ve known for a long time that the high functioning autism group do not consider autism as a problem, as a difficulty, or as a disease.

    But many of the characteristics of autism HAVE created problems for me and for other members of my family. One of my problems is defined as a an autism symptom, and that is having a hard time intuiting or figuring out, understanding what’s going on with other people in their minds or emotions. This creates a great difficulty for me, and I think it creates a difficulty for all people with audition. And it’s especially noticeable in high functioning folks. Because of the contrast between how well they function in many ways but seem not to get a lot of social cues + and this gets in the way of deep communication with other people.

    I don’t know why high functioning autistic people think that this and several other characteristics of autism don’t get in the way of living LIFE. The problems don’t just come from society being unaccepting of differences.

    Of course, I too, noticed the article speaking of autism as a disease. And I think calling it a “disease” could and should be changed.

  40. I’m actually very proud and thankful to have Autism. my biggest disability are the people around me who don’t understand it at all. I thank God EVERY DAY for making me have Autism. I would not want it any other way.

  41. Bloody hell, from reading this you’d think we’re a pack of serial killers with a severe mental impairment that needs to be cured immediately.
    Thankfully, despite my abhorrent disorder I have enough insight to know that their ignorance reflects tells more about them than it does me.
    Unless the writer is willing to learn from the autistic community they need to leave articles about autism to us.
    As for the scientists, well surely they could’ve spent a little bit of time in the past 12 years to find a PR person who can educate them on how to appropriately communicate their research.

  42. My child and husband are both on the spectrum, and I get that people on the spectrum don’t want to be reminded they’re different. I’m sorry these doctors have used the word disease, but scientifically speaking it is closer to a disease than a disorder. Maybe when schools hear of it as a disease they’ll be more willing to give support. We need more studies, and more research needs to include girls who are on the spectrum. I’m tired of the schools saying that they don’t think my daughter is on the spectrum, because she looks and acts normal.

  43. Allison Valenti | November 6, 2022 at 10:20 pm | Reply

    This article uses extremely often language. Autism is not something that needs to be fixed. I am autistic, not broken. Also, the term ASD is outdated and no longer used in the community. While research and furthering the science behind autism is certainly important, there is no need to use this type of language when explaining it.

  44. I have a child with autism.
    I’m reading comments from others with autism and it saddens me that those with autism, who are capable of higher functioning skills, wouldn’t appreciate the research that could possible help my son become more independent.
    It wasn’t until I read the comments that I even considered the notion of a diseased brain.
    But if that’s the label you’d like to place on this article and it enables my son to speak or function on a higher level.
    So be it!
    Get over yourself…and have a bit of compassion for others with autism less fortunate than yourself.

  45. It’s just science trying to find an understanding to autism so they can get us more help that we need for our disorders. People today are just so overdramatic. I swear you can’t say anything today without someone getting all bent out of shape!!!! Ridiculous!!!

  46. So what if it’s called a Disease!!! Seriously what the big deal?!? Getting all butt hurt over something so extremely petty. If my autism is a disease who cares.. it doesn’t change who I am. Who really gives a crap. Get over yourselves

  47. Autistic and amazing | November 7, 2022 at 3:18 am | Reply

    As a mother of amazing Autistic children nuerodivergant person I am appalled by the premis and idea behind this article. For most Autism and Nuerodivergence is a brain difference with many beautiful facets and qualities. .Much of the disability of the brain difference comes from abelist systems and lack of choice and acceptance. I am onboard with research that would help in the understanding and support of Autistic people BUT Autism and nuero divergence is NOT a disease to be cured or treated…Gene therapy!? Where have we heard that before? The language is alienating, other creating, medical, impersonal to be mild about it. Can we DROP the D in ASD?

  48. Look at all the “high functioning autistic”s showcasing how completely normal people are far too often diagnosed nowadays with frivolously erroneous diagnoses because society as a whole can not accept individual quirks in people and have to put labels on children who don’t conform to preprogrammed aesthetics and then those mislabeled children grow up and use their false diagnoses as shields in which to be excused from common decency in social settings.

    Autism is a genuine medical condition for people who actually are autistic. Please stop showing how ignorance disguised within a phd has made a mockery of physiological illnesses and made it into a psychological diagnostic trend to appease hover parents who can’t accept that their kids are just different than they expected them to be.

  49. Though I appreciate the thoroughness of this study, as an Autistic Adult I don’t need a cure. I can see where this idea of treatment may be helpful for severe cases but Autism is not a disease to be cured. Autistic individuals are necessary in our crumbling society, because we think from a place of logic and can find solutions to problems without our egos getting in the way. Honestly its “Normal” people who should aspire to be more like Autistics in that we are genuine, honest, and have a set moral code across all situations (not just when it benefits us).

  50. Gene therapies to change my brain… as difficult as autism can be thats a big NOPE!

  51. People need to learn that their particular situation is not what everyone experiences. My son needs a cure for his autism. Not all ASD is high functioning. It is actually to the point that they really need another word for high functioning ASD. My son needs 24/7 care when I am dead it is a real problem. He has behaviors every day. Self injury to the point that he could go blind from head directed self injury. He needs padded rooms, helmets. And at the age of 10 it takes 3 people keep him and them safe. So yes if there was a drug to help him he needs it. Fecal smearing the list goes on.

    • I feel for you … and I agree that lumping all of it under the umbrella of “Autism” seems to be causing unnecessary confusion.

  52. A thorough mapping and understanding of neurodivergent brains could really be valuable and enlightening!

    Turning that data into a eugenics plot… Yikes. Super disappointed with this article.

    • I feel proud of your comment. I wish I could change my comment and use the same calm peaceful approach to highlight the seriousness of the big picture.

  53. Lynne T Nydick, M.Ed, Mhp | November 7, 2022 at 8:30 am | Reply

    I am a therapist who works with people who have Asperger’s syndrome, or high functioning autism. to say that this is one of the most insensitively written articles would be the understatement of the year. I cannot imagine the need to write it this way, where I to see you in person. I might suggest that you are schizoid because your detachment is extreme, however, I would hold my tongue, as you should have, and not say that to you. suffice to say that this article is more destructive than constructive and I do know that there are extremely what is the people who are nonverbal, etc. it does not justify it. you made me embarrassed to be a Nuerotypical

  54. Lynne T. Nydick, M.Ed | November 7, 2022 at 8:32 am | Reply

    I left two comments on the first one was incomplete. The second one is the one that is valid.

  55. Before I start, do not call me “high functioning”. You wouldn’t be calling me that if you actually knew me. Being able to type does not tell the full story. Go read The Reason I Jump, and Ido in Autismland if you don’t believe me.

    How to say eugenics in the making, without saying eugenics in the making. Literally, autistic people are just people that have a non-neurotypical brain wiring. It’s thanks to us that humans got past the stone age! And this is the thanks we get? Being pathologized and treated as “other”? Having our neurotype compared to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s? Nobody has died from being Autistic. Plenty have from outside sources, though. Usually at the hands of their caregivers. Because this kind of “research” leads to even more hatred.

    Next time, I beg of you to put your resources to better use. Maybe research why so many of us have digestive problems, or how to make the environment more accessible to us.

    We don’t need “treatment”, “prevention” or “cures”. We need acceptance, appreciation, accessibility, inclusion. This goes for ALL Autistics. The verbal, the non-verbal, those that need support in a few places, those that need a lot. Those with one, two, or more co-occuring disabilities. A lot of you seem to miss that point; I wonder if it’s because you forgot your loved ones are human, too?

  56. As a mum of three autistic young people, and an autism professional, I object strongly to the lang6age used in this article. To tge writer, educate yourself, do some research, get to inow autistic people, and then get their input the next time you think you have thr right to write about and for them.

  57. I believe as a whole autism or ASD should be viewed as a whole for those that are high functioning and the latter. The family that supports then and how they interact and interface with society and help them adapt to the social norms and environment that they see differently then neurotypicals. I am a father of identical twin 7 year old girls with ASD. They shared the same placenta and same amniotic sac in their mother but they are vastly different from each other in regards to their place on the spectrum. The day they were diagnosed with ASD I searched far and wide to any possible way to help them and yes for lack of a better word cure them. No offense to any other persons here with ASD. But I love my girls, I want every day to have a conversation with them to interact with them. To hear how their day was. To know how they feel or what they desire. To know if they understand that I care or love them. To help them to grow and to adapt and learn so they are not seen as with a “disability”. I want to spare them any pain that I see when they are treated or viewed differently then others. I see how society treats and differentiates against anyone not in the “norm”. I am sure any of you with ASD who experienced this in your childhood encountered real obstacles and pain. I applaud you if you were able to overcome it. Excuse me if I want to protect my daughters from this same kind of discrimination. Basic real things that are completely lost when they cannot respond verbally or express themselves. I am scared to death that they won’t be able to rationalize like others and when I am gone that someone may take advantage of them or abuse them. Pardon me if I am asking for a cure or something to that extent. Something that may open their eyes more or allow them to verbalize better or help them to focus.I consider myself very analytical and I embrace science in that I want to know if ASD is really evolutionary or a anomaly. Is it caused by something while in the womb? To study to understand and to help those that need help. Eugenics? Of course not. I don’t want to embrace that concept even a little bit. However, Society and science has been exploring the possibility of designer babies long before ASD and it will not stop with it on this one area. I hope humanity makes the right choices and benefits everyone involved.

  58. My eyes are imperfect. I had to wear corrective lenses from age 12. It turns out that almost half the population wears glasses and no one tells attacked when glasses are suggested.
    The people that make glasses are trying to help you. The doctors that diagnosed you vision problem is trying to help you.
    If some idiot feels attacked because someone tells them thier eyes are not working like they should they are acting foolish. Why wouldn’t you want your brain to work closer to fully effective with the same urgency that you want your eyes to work better?
    It’s a real question. Wanting to identify as different so that you handicap is treated as normal will let you live in a world where you can’t see father than 20feet.

  59. I applaud everyone with Autism who commented on this post about themselves not being diseased and advocating for the disorder to become normalized. Keep in mind this is a spectrum disorder and there are though who are far more affected by the disorder than the ones who commented here. My 12 yr old daughter will never be able to articulate her thoughts into written words or defend her disorder from being thought of as abnormal. On that note I pray one day scientists find the missing link that may give hope to my child being able to speak and interact with others in a more meaningful and functional manner and that those barriers to her learning and cognitive processing are removed or minimized so she can live in a world without fear, confusion and more independence. Isn’t that what all parents want for their children?

  60. Having a better understanding of ASD(Autism spectrum disorder) is great but people who have ASD don’t want to be treated. We want to be accommodated, understood and for the world to have space for someone who thinks/behaves differently then the socialists norm. I actually just read this article:

    You cannot believe that being genuine is good yet having ASD is bad….you would be an absolute hypocrite.

    I’m glad you are learning to understand us, that way maybe you can learn to include people who not We don’t want to be treated. We want to be included/accommodated. EVEN non-verbals; consider for a moment that we don’t live to please and obey neuro typicals.

    Autistic people can often see more, hear more, feel more, taste more, smell more…whatever. That’s why your world is overwhelming. The NTs (neuro typicals) are so numb! NTs think “if I blend into the crowd I will survive.” Sure, that was once useful but if we do that in 2022, none of us will survive. Our planet is dying and if we don’t learn to think differently and accept those that we do, we are digging our own graves.

  61. I was finding this article interesting until the mention of diseased brain vs healthy brain and looking at ways to ‘cure’ autism. My autistic daughter was non verbal with lots of sensory needs, she was the happiest girl and bought joy and laughter wherever she went. We adapted the world around her so she could flourish- this is what studies should be looking into, not fixing something that isn’t broken. I am so hurt by the wording of this study and worry that society will agree with the idea that autism needs a cure.

  62. To be clear, this research is eugenics and trying to rid the world of future generations of neurodivergent people. These researchers and the writer of this article need to read up on the social model of disability.

  63. Stephanie Comfort | November 8, 2022 at 5:42 am | Reply

    The implications of this article are frighteningly inhumane. Testing brain tissue of those with autism against “healthy brain tissue?” This advertises a less-than way of thinking. This way of thinking is closer to a diseased brain than the subjects implicated in this article.

    Can we all agree that neuodivergence is a sign of wonder and awe in the unfolding beauty of humanity?

    A weeping willow tree does not have a disease that causes its branches to cascade down instead of up. In the same frame, neurodivergent processors are as they should be.

  64. It’s predictable that those with Autism hyperfocused on the word “disease” because they tend to be very literal and sometimes don’t give leeway for the flexibility and I interchangeability of definitions, yes Autism isn’t a disease but it is a developmental and neurological disorder and is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. But some scientists and researchers have said autism spectrum range of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and the presence of restricted and repetitive behavior. Other common signs include struggling to form friendships, perseverative interests, stereotypic body movements, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and unusual responses to sensory stimuli. Because it’s a spectrum some with autism are going to be high functioning with average and above average intelligence, unfortunately this is not the case with a everyone on the spectrum. And those labeled as high functioning just mean those with IQs at 70 and higher and many “high functioning” struggle. However there is a strong evidence that various physical, or biomedical, problems can directly cause many autism-related symptoms and behaviours.
    There is also growing evidence that physical health-related problems can, through their influence on brain development and functioning, cause the core autism symptoms that form the very diagnosis of the disorder.
    It is an undeniable and sad fact that individuals with autism suffer much poorer health and shorter lifespan than their peers without autism. One of the most important investigations of recent years revealed that average life expectancy of a person with severe autism is 39.5 years, rising to only 58 years for those with high-functioning autism, or Asperger syndrome. Those of you that are saying Autism doesn’t need to be seen as an illness are basically saying we shouldn’t look for a cure cause look all the autistic people commenting are happy… there brains are just a little different but they all hate this article cause it makes it look like autism is a disease. Lucky that you all are high functioning but realize you as an autistic person are going to find it more difficult to empathize with those that aren’t and step in their shoes for a moment.

  65. I am a parent to 3 boys two of my boys have autism one is non verbal autistic I like to say it’s not a illness, it’s who they are!!

    You can’t change who they are to suit

  66. An utterly unsatisfying piece of journalism, thanks

  67. Delaney Sheridan | November 8, 2022 at 10:27 pm | Reply

    As an adult with autism I can say that you people who are just like me, you are absolutely right. We are not diseased and we deserve to be treated equally as important as the rest of the neurotypical world. In fact if you wish to do so feel free to see a lyrics video on my YouTube page of a song that I wrote that is related to this. It’s called Autism Makes You Special my channel name is laney880. I hope this helps you feel like you’re at least not alone in some way. God bless.

  68. absolutely disgusting how you talk about autistic people like this. I tried to kill myself last night and this is the last thing I needed to read today

  69. Delaney Sheridan | November 9, 2022 at 10:41 am | Reply

    Jamie are you talking about what I said or are you referring to the people that wrote this article? Please let me know what you meant because I’m a bit confused.

  70. I have autism, my daughter has autism, and I work in the field. Thank you for this research. In order to address the needs of profoundly autistic people, this research is ethical and necessary. To all the people on here with autism asking for increased sensitivity regarding terminology, and that language needs to change to accommodate them…stop being so incredibly, horribly SELFISH. There are children that bang their heads so hard on the floor everyday that they bleed routinely. They can never feel calm, loved, present. They scratch their skin off in long gouges and attack their parents. Your answer is to deny the huge variations in this genetic DISORDER, and therefore deny them ANY joy, happiness, pleasure in life. I HAVE ASD and even I’m not going to obfuscate about diagnosis categories, and deny the genetic expression of rna sequence disruptance in an Autistic brain. It’s science: the absence of corpus collusum pathways, and enlarged amygdala is NOT normal. To shout and wave fists about it harming your sense of self…means you are completely comfortable denying help for those that require institutionalization their entire life. Shame on you

    • I work with adults with autism. Some of commenters have some of the common symptoms of autism like inability to understand or empathize with other’s situations, feeling attacked, and expecting special treatment.

    • LivedExperience>ObservedExperience | November 12, 2022 at 5:29 pm | Reply

      You should link your very real thesis or research papers you’ve published ‘in the field’ because I’m sure you’re definitely not lying or being vague about your qualifications to sound more authoritative on the internet because that would be a really sh*tty thing to do in order to justify your opinion and invalidate others’ experiences. Which I’m sure you wouldn’t do. And if it actually is real it will be a nice learning experience. Win-win.

  71. My grandson has autism and my daughter has been fighting for 8 years between specialist and ip to get him in special needs in school.
    He gets picked on by teachers and kids it is very heartbreaking! He also has multiple malformation syndrome .
    A neurological problem that effects the brain.
    It is so sad

  72. As always, mainstream media lies about the true reasons for autism, they try to make autism genetic. No matter how much Grand money they spend, they are not getting any closer to the abily to treat ASD. IT IS CURABLE by homeopathy and toxisity of our environment and poisonous vaccines and antibiotics are the real reasons,and naturopathic doctors knew it for a while.

    • Homeopathy? Are you serious?

      Homeopathy is literally nothing more than a placebo. It flat out does not work. This is a provable and proven fact. Believing it works requires either a fundamental lack of understanding of what homeopathy is or a fundamental misunderstanding of how reality works.

      In other words, if it were ever proved to be real, this would literally upend our most well-proved areas of science. Anyone who is willing to sell you homeopathic products is inherently untrustworthy, either because they are intentionally relying on your gullibility or they have zero capability of differentiating between utter lies and plausible solutions.

      To be abundantly clear, this is very different from “natural medicine” or “naturopathic”. Acetylsalicylic acid is a pain reducer, fever reducer, anti-inflammatory, etc… It’s derived from the similar salicin, found in the bark of the white willow tree. At one point, this was just a natural remedy. Now, the brand name given to it is so ubiquitous that it isn’t even a brand anymore. It’s just aspirin.

      If natural medicine works, it becomes mainstream. If it’s safe, reliable, and effective, it becomes mainstream.

      This is not homeopathy. Homeopathy at a medium dilution of 50X is about like a single grain of sand diluted into the entire universe. By the time you get to 100C, you have one molecule vs. the entire universe, 3-4 layers deep.

      Can you tell yet that I’m autistic? I’ve looked into this. A lot. Homeopathy is a scam. The only reason the FDA won’t ban it is because it’s relatively harmless and makes people a lot of money.

      It isn’t harmless, though, when people claim it can cure cancer. Because then people die of cancer.

      Or when people claim it can cure autism. Me being autistic isn’t the problem here. It’s you thinking I need to be cured and insisting a sugar pill will cure me.

  73. It is not true. The true reasons for ASD are poisonous vaccines, antibiotics and environmental toxicity. It is curable by homeopathy.

    • LMFAOOOO…You should listen to the Behind the Bastards podcast episode about “The Bastard Who Invented Homeopathy” and all of the children killed by beliefs such as yourself. 🙂

  74. The language used in this article was so gross. “Autistic brain” and then “person with autism,” a better way to say this is “the brains of autistic people.” I do not magically become allistic if you remove my brain, I would just be dead. You could just skip all the extra steps and say that you would prefer a person to be dead than autistic. Autistic people do not need to know what we look like on a molecular level, we need to be believed about our experiences so that we can get accommodations.

    Focusing on how we socialize and not on a DAILY physical pain we feel every day has been only to the benefit of allistic researchers. Maybe just maybe we could believe autistic people when we communicate that we are in pain. And before any idiot says that some autistic people cannot communicate this includes AAC devices and other languages techniques. If you cannot understand your autistic loved ones find another autistic person to translate.

    My brain is not diseased.

  75. There is so much wrong with this article, I can’t even finish it. Talking about Autism as if it’s a disease like Parkinsons or Alzheimers, WTAF?! It’s not a degenerative disease. It’s not a disorder. The preferred nomenclature is Autism Spectrum Condition. This article is a slap in the face to the Autistic community. It’s not Autism that needs a cure, it’s this society that refuses yo accept people who are differnt. I want the time I spent reading this article back. Signed, An Autistic Person with an Autistic Child

  76. My son is 7yrs old and non-verbal and autistic. We never ever say that he has autism. We say that he is autistic because that is who he is, not what he has. Autistic people are beautiful, smart, funny and sweet and probably the most honest people in the world. Sure, it’s hard sometimes. He gets frustrated, I get frustrated, but we work through it. For autistic people to be treated different or “less than” is so wrong. They have feelings and emotions and tho some are non-verbal they can still hear and know what’s going on around them a lot more than you would think. In my eyes there is nothing to cure except for the people who don’t take the time to understand that autistic people bring something beautiful this world. My son is an angel on earth

  77. I have to comment to those with asd who are taking offense to a scientific article. I have a son who lives with autism and I will say I don’t find this article offensive at all. If anything it’s very informative. We are seeing a society that is easily hurt by terms they are taking out of context. I don’t see the word “diseased “ in this article for starters. Secondly if those who are finding offense would take time to educate themselves on what certain terms mean in the scientific world just like we want people to understand autism. Not one word in this article mentions asd people are broken. Science is trying to understand how autism within the human brain works. There are more questions than answers and if I can find an answer to help my nonverbal son speak than I want to know what the latest research says. Stop being so judgmental and listen more. You are only hurting yourselves in the long run.

  78. Completely agree with previous comments. Autism is not a disease like Parkinson’s! Absolutely disgusting reporting.

  79. Good for each and everyone of you advocating for yourselves. Speak your mind, do not let anyone tell you how to view yourself! This article is very disturbing to me. The only thing this world needs to fix at this moment is to show love and kindness to all people no matter their diagnosis social status race religion gender. World peace will only happen if everyone is viewed as a value to society.

  80. I’m glad to see so many comments having the same feelings as mine. Insulting language and dangerous implications that our autistic brains need to be “fixed” rather than UNDERSTOOD. Great news on the research but these findings need to be taken ethically instead of this pathological approach.

  81. To all the “victims” of this insensitive article who felt the need to express their dissatisfaction about how the article was written.
    First of all they never used the word “disease” to describe autism, they said “psychiatric disorder”, which for some people, it clearly is. Just because you claim to be “on the spectrum” because you think it makes you a more interesting person doesn’t make it true. If you are truly autistic you are all obviously very articulate, and probably don’t have any problems navigating through life, and therefore don’t have any interest in the therapies that others who suffer (yes, I said suffer) from this psychiatric disorder might find beneficial. You’re lucky, you are not a victim. My brother in law suffers from autism (again I said suffer) to the point that he can’t leave the house because the world is too confusing and overwhelming for him. There are many others who are afflicted on the same way, who will likely require lifelong support to navigate life.
    So maybe you guys are autistic, maybe not (again I’m guessing it’s just another way to claim victimhood). Maybe you don’t feel like there is anything wrong with you but people like my brother-in-law and countless others, who’ve never gone on a date, or had a friend, or had a job, or can’t navigate life, could benefit from this research.
    Just thank the gods for your good fortune, let the scientists do science,and quit your incessant whining!

    • You’re extremely stupid if you think being articulate means you can’t be autistic.

      Don’t you think it’d be better if society made it easier for your brother in law to navigate the world? Why is it his problem? Why can’t we work to make the world more accessible? Do you think your brother in law would like hearing you talk about how something he has that has no cure and is just the way he was made is bad, wrong, and something he should and will suffer from? Read perspectives from actual autistic people instead of thinking you know everything and you understand the way we feel about it. Imagine if every day of your life, someone told you that life will be hard and unforgiving because your name is Jack. And you can’t change that name, it’s stuck with you your whole life, and every time you introduce yourself everyone knows you’re “Jack” and Jacks can’t do things the rest of us do and they aren’t like us regular humans and everything overwhelms them and they’re hard to be around – and you think, well, that’s not true. I think everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes. I think everyone can be bad at being a “human”…it just happens to Jacks more often, but why does that make all Jacks bad and in need of correction? Why can’t we be more understanding? Why does every human need to follow the same course in life? Asking those things doesn’t make you a victim. Asking those things makes you an advocate for yourself. Autistic folks complaining about the way this article was written (BECAUSE IT MAKES US SOUND LESS THAN HUMAN) isn’t being a VICTIM. We’re speaking out instead of accepting the fact that folks view us this way, as something wrong that needs to be corrected, eradicated, or fixed. Does your brother in law know that you’re online supporting the ideas of eugenics on his behalf?

  82. I’m a psychologist and I never will label autism as a desease, Problem short has not been properly studied as a human brain development, mith or reality, changes occur when evolution it’s present and should be consider a brain development that is happening, and we simply don’t understand

  83. Really gross language in this article :/ My brain is healthy, it’s just structured a little different. I struggle with things a neurotypical person may find easy, but reverse is also true.

  84. And next we are going to cure introverts as well

  85. My 22 year old daughter has autism. She has limited verbal skills and has some behavioral issues. She will require someone to live with her as an aide for the rest of her life.
    The commentary by those on the spectrum who are hurt or insulted by this article are not indicative of how autism affects 95% of people who have it. Autism is a HORRIBLE condition that I would do ANYTHING to rid my daughter of having to suffer.

  86. It’s hilarious looking at the narrow-minded autistic people cry about the truth.

    Sorry but your diseased. Under normal circumstances you guys would not even make it to adulthood. Your brain puts you in severe danger because you ate incapable of reading situations.

    But with modern medicine there’s more of you than usual. Back in the day only priviledged autistics who had rich parents thrived.

    I have an autistic step father and when I tell you he’s f***ing sick in the head he is, it’s the worst having to deal with someone who doesn’t understand the difference between an accident or doing something intentionally. Having to be extra quiet because noise bothers them. That’s not f***ing normal.

    The whole neurodiverse movement is a huge cope and most autistic people do not want to accept help or learn better coping mechanisms. The fact that you can’t admit it’s disease shows how ashamed you are of your disease. It also shows why you are disease. Being a self centered a**hole is not what helps humanity. We are cooperative people.

    Thank good my disease ADHD wasn’t grouped in with ASD. We are so different. I have a thing called self awareness and I actually say sorry and think about other people. I hold myself accountable for my emotional dysregulation and I get help for my anger issues that arise because of my condition.

    I always tell people I have ADHD and the truth. I am disabled. I am different. My brain is all over the place. I need things in writing because I will forget.

    This is why I don’t get along with most autistics. They are so delusional and think they’re secretly superior to everyone. Its sickening. I know this growing up with 2 aspie a**holes.

    • You’ve got some serious problems to work out with the people in your life, and taking it out on large groups of people instead of the ones making your life hard isn’t okay. I don’t know how to tell you this, but ADHD and ASD are not at all that far removed from each other. Why pit yourself against folks struggling just the same as you are instead of the society that makes us struggle?

      Part of ASD involves struggling to correct behavior. That is literally a characteristic of ASD. I understand being frustrated by that. It frustrates me when I struggle to fix my behavior. But there are lots of factors as well as lack of supportive systems that make it that way. I agree, it’s not an excuse, but speaking about how GLAD you are that you don’t have ASD as someone who is also neurodivergent is just awful. You see folks with ASD as less than human and you’d be happier if you corrected that.

  87. Imagine being one of the autistic people that donated their brains to science for this study and reading them talk about you like this. Disgusting article actually. You know what else can cause damage or negative impact to multiple areas of the brain? Stress. Something most autistic people experience EVERY DAY just trying to be a part of a society that isn’t built for us. Yes, there are autistic people that have harder lives than mine and require more help on a daily basis, but that could be improved if we, I don’t know, IMPROVED SOCIETY SOMEWHAT instead of try to change them and/or participate in eugenics.

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