Abstract. Autistic traits are known to be associated with social interaction difficulties. Yet, somewhat paradoxically, relevant research has been typically res
Higher interpersonal similarity of autistic traits was associated with higher measures of closeness, acceptance and help. These results, therefore, lend support to the idea of an interactive turn in the study of social abilities across the autism spectrum.
For many autistic adults, the golden years are tarnished by poor health, poverty and, in some cases, homelessness. Their plight reveals huge gaps in care.
Perhaps the most insidious, and under-appreciated, culprit is a world that often feels unfriendly to those who are different. Many autistic adults engage in camouflaging — trying to act like a neurotypical person by hiding autism traits. This masking can be stressful — and stress can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Without adequate support, some autistic adults may also experience ‘burnout,’ a phenomenon characterized by chronic exhaustion, loss of skills and other consequences.
“Looking at health in older adults with autism can tell us something about the result of a lifetime of the lived experience of being autistic, of the discrimination that comes with being autistic,” says Lauren Bishop, assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Think how it feels that we, of all people, who have such powerfully single-minded vocations, and hunger more than most to fulfil our vocations, must everywhere seem to be prevented by those eagle-eyed gatekeepers, the networkers, the social police who will prevent us from accessing the resources we need because we fail an irrelevant eye-contact test, or the right-kind-of-smile-on-the-way-to-the-water-cooler test.”
Most research on the neurobiology of language focuses on language alone. However, new biological functions commonly make use of previously existing me…
Likely due in part to a female advantage at declarative memory (perhaps thanks to higher estrogen levels), females may rely more on this system, while males correspondingly rely more on procedural memory, for tasks that can be performed by either system.
Individuals with five neurodevelopmental disorders -- autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, dyslexia, and Specific Language Impairment -- appear to compensate for dysfunction by relying on a single powerful and nimble system in the brain known as declarative...
"Studies suggest that girls and women are better than boys and men, on average, in their use of declarative memory. Therefore females are likely to compensate more successfully than males, even to the point of compensating themselves out of diagnosis more often than males."
Do you know what synesthesia is? Studying synesthetes can give us many clues about how our brain and our unconscious works.
This leads to a theory that synesthetes do not experience extraordinary associations, but simply become aware of them, while the rest of the population ignores them. In other words, any brain is able to connect the stimuli captured by different senses, but in 24 out of 25 individuals this happens at an unconscious level. The study of synesthetes thus sheds light on the brain mechanisms that underlie the conscious experience of all human beings.
There’s a growing push to focus on our brain differences, not deficits. This wider view of "normal" is a big part of something called neurodiversity.
We need more research, but experts think the genes for these developmental "disorders" stick around because they come with evolutionary advantages. For example, behaviors like hyperactivity and impulsivity might have helped our ancestors find food or move way from danger. And strong nonsocial skills, like the kind some people with autism have, were good for our prehistoric ancestors who lived out in nature.
Medical experts and people with neurodiverse features don’t always agree on what neurodiversity means. Some think conditions like autism are always disabling. And people vary greatly in how they want to self-identify. Some prefer identity-first language while others don’t.
"There are workers with autism and there are autistic workers," Santuzzi says.
And while there’s a distinction between neurodiversity and disability, right now, "some people want to hold on to the identity of disability to acknowledge that the workplace and school settings haven’t adjusted yet," Santuzzi says. "And they’re still at a disadvantage."