Author: Sara Webb, PhD

Science with Sara and Karen: Prevalence of Autism in Females

On Friday June 8th 2018, the UW Center on Human Development and Disability supported the Collaborative Research Area Biological Basis of Autism Seminar on Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Behavior, Brain and Genetics. Speakers included Karen Barnes PhD , Tychele Turner PhD , and myself . For this Blog, I invited Karen Barnes to join me to discuss the updated rates of autism in females as well as sex differences in autism. Read full post »

Science with Sara – An Interview with Dr. Jill Locke and her Research on School Based Social Engagement

Dr. Jill Locke’s research focuses on school-based social skills interventions for children with ASD. Her research highlights the importance of the intervention setting and how to match school resources to the needs of the child. Successful school intervention programs are ones that can be maintained Read full post »

Science with Sara – Autism Science Foundation Brings Research to the Public

How do you keep up with all the new autism research? A quick search on PubMed using only the keywords “autism” results in 17,611 papers published in the last 5 years! The US Department of Health & Human Services Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee  publishes the summary of advances highlighting the significant progress in the field but this comes out once a year. With multiple autism specific journals each publishing ~10 articles monthly, there is an extensive amount of research available.  Even those of us whose jobs are in research are swamped by the amount of new work coming out weekly.

Read full post »

Science with Sara – Ultrasound and Autism

A recent article published in JAMA Pediatrics (2018; Associations of Prenatal Ultrasound and Autism Spectrum Disorders[i])  has re-drawn attention to ultrasound as a potential factor that may cause ASD. My colleague Dr. Pierre Mourad and I want to take a moment to highlight some thoughts about this research.

Read full post »

Twins and Autism

Today we discuss the topic of twins and autism with Dr. Sara Jane Webb, Associate Professor at the University of Washington and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Lynn: If one identical (monozygotic) twin has autism, what is the likelihood the other will? If one fraternal (dizygotic) twin has autism, what is the likelihood the other will?

Dr. Webb: Concordance in ASD diagnosis (the probability that both will have it) is observed in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs at rates of 60-90%, whereas rates among dizygotic (DZ) twins are estimated at 3-31%. (Bailey et al., 1995; Folstein & Rutter, 1977; Hallmayer et al., 2011; Ronald & Hoekstra, 2011; Rutter, 2005). The wide range for each reported rate may be attributable to differences in how ASD was defined and diagnostic measurement differences. That is, some studies used clinical diagnosis of autism as conceptualized in the 1970s and others used specific diagnostic criteria and Read full post »