Welcome to Spectrum

The leading source of news and expert opinion on autism research.

About Spectrum

Our Mission:

We provide comprehensive news and analysis of advances in autism research. Through our work, we hope to catalyze new collaborations and perspectives on autism.

We sift through the steady stream of autism papers and highlight the most noteworthy. Our deeply reported news articles explain the context and impact of each finding. We also turn to experts in the field for their opinions on trends or controversies in autism research.

Spectrum began in 2008 as the News & Opinion section of SFARI.org. In the summer of 2015, we spun off to create an independent online identity. As we evolved over the years, we experimented with various types of articles and added dozens of voices — but one thing that has never wavered is our commitment to provide accurate and objective coverage of autism research. We invite you to add your voice to that important conversation.

Editorial Policy:

Funding for Spectrum comes from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), but our team is editorially independent. The articles we produce do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation’s scientific staff.

Commenting Guidelines:

Here at Spectrum, we encourage open debate about the research we cover, and welcome a diversity of perspectives. In order to keep this conversation constructive, we’ve set guidelines for comments. We will actively moderate any comments that we feel violate our standards and we will ban repeat offenders. For our complete Terms and Conditions, click here. Thank you for reading Spectrum.

Be polite: We will not tolerate disrespectful comments of any kind.

Stick to the science: Spectrum is a news site, not a resource for medical advice. We will delete comments that recommend treatments or contain claims that don’t square with scientific evidence.

Stay on-topic: We will moderate comments that are not relevant to the discussion, or that contain links to commercial products. Please refrain from repeating the same comment across multiple articles.

Be brief: Please keep your comment to fewer than 500 words. If you have a news tip or want to pitch an article, please email [email protected].

If you have questions or comments about these guidelines email us at [email protected] or tweet @spectrum.


SFARI’s mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance. Launched in 2003, SFARI is an initiative within the Simons Foundation's suite of scientific programs.

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Praise for Spectrum

Spectrum is a beacon on the Internet. I know that among autism scientists it’s absolutely the go-to place.”

Francesca Happé, professor of cognitive neuroscience, King’s College London

“My favorite source for autism news.”

Dan Kennedy, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, Indiana University

“I wanted to take a moment to commend the members of your editorial team for their outstanding coverage of the Society for Neuroscience conference. The clarity of the writing, the timeliness and the sheer quantity of coverage have been phenomenal. I have learned so much that I feel like I was actually at the conference. Your website is truly an invaluable resource for the autism community.”

Alison Singer, president, Autism Science Foundation

Spectrum gets at exciting big questions in systems neuroscience in general, as well as how they apply to autism.”

Samuel Wang, professor of neuroscience and molecular biology, Princeton University

Spectrum is required reading for every trainee in my lab.”

Brian O’Roak, assistant professor of molecular and medical genetics, Oregon Health & Science University

“Your news reports from the International Meeting for Autism Research and the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting have been terrific. It is remarkable how quickly you absorb and synthesize so much conference information on a diversity of topics.”

Jacqueline Crawley, professor of psychiatry, MIND Institute, University of California, Davis

“These stories are really important to let others know what is in the pipeline. Spectrum is widely read by clinicians and families.”

Shafali Jeste, assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology, University of California, Los Angeles

“First off, thanks for a wonderful website and resource. As a parent of an autistic child, it is one of the few places on the Web where autism information can be viewed objectively and without massively technical language.”

Aneil Saraf, parent of a child with autism

“I’m a big fan. I am trying to find someone to translate in French. The news on the site is really great and really very educational even for nonscientists.”

Thomas Bourgeron, professor of genetics, Institut Pasteur


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