Unique strengths in some people with ASD

We almost always hear about how people with autism show deficits in certain behaviors, but what about features that may be an advantage?  A new study from the UK offers some scientific insight on how people with autism exhibit thinking styles that are not as fixed and rigid as ‘neurotypicals’.   Where does this come from?  And is it on the opposite of the genetic coin as things that produce problems in people with ASD?   I mention one task in the study, here’s the image:

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Deciphering the US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations

The United States Preventive Services Task Force is a group of physicians that reviews systematic reviews of evidence around screening for prevention of disease like mammograms for cancer and aspirin for heart disease.  Last week they released their recommendations for screening all children in primary care settings for autism spectrum disorders.  Unfortunately, they concluded that there was insufficient evidence to make any sort of recommendation and needed to see more direct evidence.  In a statement by ASF, Autism Speaks and AAP, each organization has outlined why they disagree.  In this week’s podcast, I will try and break down where the USPSTF is coming from, why they are wrong in their interpretation, and point to a recent study led by Dr. Laura Schreibman at UCSD which argues that the differences noted across studies evaluated by the task force are not differences at all, that the interventions are more common than previously considered – and consistent in their findings.   This article, by the way, is a great resource and can be found here:  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-015-2407-8