Autism Research

Scientific and societal interest in autism has burgeoned in the past decade, as documented by nearly 20 million websites, over 30,000 entries in PubMed, and a weekly focus on autism by the national media. But with this surge of scientists and society turning their attention toward autism, it becomes exceedingly important to distinguish uninformed stereotype from scientific reality, to move beyond myths and misconceptions. In one line of my autism research I have empirically questioned several commonly held assumptions:

In autism research, are we reaching for relevancedrawing biased interpretations, from the eye of the beholderignoring the true meaning of research participation, and dehumanizing autistics?

In other lines of my research, I have empirically explored the question of why some autistic children struggle with speech and manual gesturesinvestigated the overlap between language delay within and outside the autism spectrum, and differentiated between speech and language.

Lastly, I am involved with Professor Hill Goldsmith (who also happens to be my husband) to explore the heritability of autism, as currently defined.