And now….the 2016 year end summary of autism science

The year 2016 was eventful for many reasons.  In this 20 minute podcast, we review some of the scientific discoveries that highlighted findings in causes, understanding, and treating ASD.  Featured more this year is studies on the sibling of individuals with ASD, so we are calling 2016 “The Year of the Sibling”  This review includes genetics, gene x environment interactions, diagnosis, the broader autism phenotype, and early interventions and the role of parent-delivered interventions in long term outcome.  It also highlights the important role of studying brain tissue from individuals with autism to better understand people with autism across the lifespan, including those with known causes and unknown causes of ASD.  We hope you find it informative – please send comments to

What the Trump presidency could mean for autism families

On early Wednesday morning, the United States woke up to the news that the new president was Donald Trump.  While he hasn’t taken office yet, this podcast reviews his statement on his website or in his Contract with America, as well as thing  published or stated by him or his campaign on his website or in an interview.  The following are covered:  health coverage, Medicaid, mental health services, science and the environment, and education.   The focus is now the proposed changes and policies could affect families with autism.  There is also a special message at the end from David Mandell about how families can deal with the changes ahead.  A transcript of the podcast is available here.

Autism Insurance Mandates: Necessary But Not Sufficient For Services

Autism insurance mandates are wonderful.  They require insurance companies to pay for screening, diagnosis and treatment and services for people with autism.  But just because insurance will pay for it does not mean that it’s out there.  The idea of “build it and they will come” for insurance mandates is on it’s way, but not quite there.  Dr. David Mandell from University of Pennsylvania explains why in a new study.  Also, single genes that are associated with autism are a great start to look for causes and subtypes of people with autism, but they aren’t the final word to resolve the heterogeneity of ASD.  If you didn’t read the new story about new findings in brains of people with autism, read more on the ASF website.