Evolution of Autism Research

Research and understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have evolved in recent decades. In this piece, we explore research findings using one representative article from each decade from 1990 to 2020.

The rate of identifying people as being on the autism spectrum disorder spectrum has been increasing in recent years — and so has the language we use to describe it and the practices we use to work with it.

In 2016, one in 54 eight year-olds were estimated to be on the autism spectrum in the United States. That year, ASD was found to be 4.3 times more prevalent in boys than girls (Maenner, et. al, 2020). 

According to the DSM-V (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder impacting human developm...


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About Lin Lim-Goh

Lin Lim, Ph.D. is a founding board member of the Texas non-profit Gifted Education Family Network, and currently serves on the national non-profit board of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). She has a doctorate in human development from the psychology department at Boston University. In recent years, she has become very interested in the ecology of gifted and twice-exceptional parenting, and talent development. She has completed a Graduate Academic Certificate in twice-exceptional education from Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive diversity in Education in 2020, and will complete a Graduate Academic Certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching from Johns Hopkins Graduate School of Education in May 2021.