Severe Autism, Often Slighted, Now Targeted for Study

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Science  11 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6155, pp. 179
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6155.179

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Studies of children with autism have focused almost exclusively on "high-functioning" individuals with greater cognitive and verbal abilities. Severely affected children who require the most care—including many who cannot speak—have been left out, researchers say. Now, child psychiatrist Matthew Siegel is spearheading a six-member research consortium that will concentrate on low-functioning children to learn more about the role of speech in severe autism, co-morbidities, and genetic factors.

  • * Charles Schmidt is a writer in Portland, Maine.