Neighborhood Publication: “Autism Voices” and the growing cortex | Spectrum
Illustration by Laurène Boglio
Hello and welcome to this week’s community newsletter! I am your host, Chelsey B. Coombs, the engagement editor of Spectrum.
A spate of tweets this week promoted a new autism study from researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
How can we develop inclusive methods to capture experiences of autistic adolescents with different cognitive and linguistic abilities? @ ValrieCourchesn, @ RackebT et al. explored new ways to amplify the voices of autistic adolescents across the spectrum
???? by @ValrieCourchesnhttps: //t.co/a18KNJgIpe
– Autism Journal (@journalautism) September 6, 2021
The researchers conducted a new protocol called Autism Voices to collect first-person perspectives from young people with autism. This method involves interviewing parents or caregivers to develop a semi-structured interview tailored to an autistic person’s communication preferences and needs. For example, the researchers used picture cards and participants could respond by writing, texting with emojis, drawing, pointing, speaking, or using complementary or alternative means of communication.
Autistic participants had the most positive experiences with the most flexible interviewers, who could ask one unanswered question differently before moving on to the next. And participants with minimal verbal or intellectual disabilities were able to bring their own perspectives as long as their needs were taken into account, the study found.
“This methodology and approach to engagement will ultimately lead to empowerment and empowerment of the autistic community by engaging them as active actors in the research that affects them,” the researchers wrote.
The paper highlights that it is possible to involve young people from across the spectrum in participatory research. While participants with minimal verbal or intellectual disabilities tended to communicate in unconventional ways, they still communicated, were engaging, and had things to say!
– Autism Journal (@journalautism) September 6, 2021
Michelle Dawson, an autism researcher at the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies in Montreal, Canada, cited the study directly.
A new protocol (“Autism Voices”) for interviews with autistic people aged 11-18 years, pilot study, free of charge https://t.co/LtFrsxTreL “Our communication codes and processes enabled an in-depth analysis of what might otherwise have been considered unsuccessful interviews can be drawn “
– Michelle Dawson (@autismcrisis) September 4, 2021
The Olga Tennison Autism Research Center at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia tweeted that it was important that this work continue.
So important that work continues on various avenues so that the voices of autistic people can be heard given their differences in communication https://t.co/PxEOGYrqHd
– Olga Tennison Autism Research Center (OTARC) (@OlgaTennison) September 6, 2021
Elsewhere on Twitter, researchers raved about a new resource published in Cell that combines chromatin and transcription profiles in the developing human cerebral cortex.
Now online! Chromatin and gene regulation dynamics of the developing human cerebral cortex with single cell dissolution https://t.co/J2yiThzFDm
– Cell (@CellCellPress) August 13, 2021
PlumX Metrics shows the newspaper’s social media splash.
Investigator Sergiu P. Pasca, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University in California, thanked his coworkers for the research he described as “an effort into the logic of lineage progression and mapping #autism mutations.”
Our work on human cortical development is in @cell today. Strive to understand lineage logic and map #autism mutations Working with @WJGreenleaf
Led by ????: Alex @atrev_bio & Fabian (@EpigenomeI) & Jimena (@jimena_andersen) & Laksshman https://t.co/kZ3IxAha2V pic.twitter.com/NXb4YAvpWD
– Sergiu P. Pasca (@PascaStanford) August 14, 2021
Ashley Watson, Senior Scientist at STEMCELL Technologies, called it an “incredible resource”.
Incredible resource. I am particularly fascinated by the analytical method for prioritizing ASD mutations and the finding that CTCF motifs were often disturbed in cases versus controls. Another indication that chromatin architecture is a critical component of ASD pathogenesis? https://t.co/mwia62dBIu
– Ashley Watson (@lashleywatson) August 20, 2021
And Yang Luo, professor of medicine at Harvard University, commented on the “many cool methods to immerse yourself in.”
great work by @PascaStanford & @WJGreenleaf lab. Paired chromatin and transcriptional profiling in the development of the (human) brain. Lots of cool methods to immerse. Resources for predicting cell type specific activity in single nucleotide res. https://t.co/Gj3EHDHZj1 https: / /t.co/JcQ87QtNRQ pic.twitter.com/WioRnNigaU
– Yang Luo (@ yluo86) August 16, 2021
If you missed our August 31 webinar with Laurent Mottron, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal, Canada, you can now watch it on our website.
And don’t forget to sign up for our September 28 webinar, where Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, will speak about goals in developing new drugs for autism – and the barriers that researchers are facing can come across.
That’s it for this week’s Spectrum Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social contributions in the field of autism research, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet next week!
Quote this article: https://doi.org/10.53053/DUZE8641