Autism Study Supports “Once You’ve Met One Autistic Person, You’ve Met One Autistic Person.”


Hi, my name is Stephanie and today I want
to go over an article with you. So, a lot of times, you may have heard that people
say that it is said a lot in the autism community or the autistic community that
once you have met an autistic, you have met an autistic. So, a lot of times, when
they say, like, when you’ve met one type of person, you’ve met them all, they’re
all, like, very similar. In this case, they’re- people are trying to say, like, when you
meet one autistic person, that person is so individually them that you couldn’t
really compare them too much with another autistic person. Yes, there are
plenty of similarities and that’s obviously how we can get diagnoses, but
all the little things are very individual to them and we’ve also seen
this with science. We’ve seen kind of conflicting studies with over and under
actions kind of going on in the brain. More connections, less connections in
different areas. We haven’t always seen a consensus when it comes to that kind of
thing in science. Now, we have seen that, obviously, there is a neurotypical brain,
what we call a neurotypical brain, and a neuro-atypical brain. And a lot of
times, people kind of argue, well, the neurotypical and the neuro-atypical
doesn’t really matter because all of our brains are different. And while that is
true, absolutely, all of our brains are different,
this article is actually really helpful in shedding light on that kind of ordeal.
This article was published early 2015 and it says: In people with autism
spectrum disorder (ASD), no two brains are alike when it comes to connectivity
between regions, scientists have found, which is in stark contrast to the
relatively uniform way the brains of people without autism are arranged. See,
this is very interesting because, again, with that whole argument of well, neurodiversity or having neurodiverse brains or whatnot isn’t that big of a
deal because everyone’s brain is different. Well, we’re seeing that there
is a neurotypical kind of brain set, where you can kind of put those all
together in a group. The discovery was made by a team from the Weizmann
Institute of Science in Israel, and could explain why some studies have found
evidence that people affected by autism have overly connected brains, while
others have characterized ASD as the result of reduced connection
in several region regions, both inside and outside of the cortex. So, again, this
helps us understand why we have conflicting science concerning the
autistic brain, and this is also going into why people are trying to say that
there are autisms, like, different types of autism, because of different types, the
way the brains work. However, in this article, they’re saying there’s not
really a clear, obvious subtype of autism from this particular study. So, we’ll look
into that. The team looked at five large datasets of functional magnetic
resonance imaging (MRIs) scans taken of high-functioning adults with ASD and
controls that were not affected by the disorder. The scans were taken at various
universities around the U.S., and while each individual was at rest. “Resting-state brain studies are important because that is when patterns emerge
spontaneously, allowing us to see how various brain areas naturally connect
and synchronize their activity,” said one of the team, Avital Hahamy, or hay-huh-me, I
don’t know, in a press release. When they compared the brains of the controls – so
scans from people without autism – they found a standardized pattern of
functional connectivity across each of them. This is where we get that concept
of a neurotypical brain, because you will see a kind of a standard function going
on in the brain across different neuro- typical brains. If you superimpose one on
top of the other over and over, the levels of connectivity across the
various regions of the brain would look basically the same. So, not
… identically the same. Again, all of our brains are different, but basically the
same. “Certain regions had high inter- hemispheric (between the right and left
sides) connectivity: primary sensory- motor regions like the sensorimotor
cortex and the occipital cortex,” writes Diana Gitig at ARS Technica. “Others
showed low inter-hemispheric connectivity: regions like the frontal
cortex and temporal cortex, which are involved in … higher order
association. Overall, the control brain scans looked pretty much the same as
each other.” But when they compared the brains of people with ASD, they couldn’t
find any similarities between them in terms of where functional connectivity
would be typically high, and where connectivity would be low. In fact, they
say it’s not even really about the weakness and strengths of the
connections, but rather the … topology of the neural networks – so how they’re arranged. The team suggests that the fact that no two
ASD brains they studied were the same could be a core characteristic of
high-functioning ASD. So, again, this is basically science confirming the
statement that when you meet one autistic, you literally just met that one
autistic because, quite frankly, our brains are so different that we’re not
finding a consistent pattern to be able to, like, subtype them. They couldn’t even
split the brains up into subgroups because the way the networks were
arranged was so idiosyncratic and individualized, but note that an analysis
for larger data sets could eventually uncover clustering of similar
characteristics and connectivity patterns. “Our results reveal a new and
robust abnormality in the ASD connectivity, which relates to the
topographical nature of the functional connectivity patterns rather than to
their overall strength,” the team reports in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
“Specifically, we found that the canonical pattern of functional connectivity seen
in typical controls showed significant and individually distinct, or
idiosyncratic, distortions in participants with ASD.” The team isn’t
sure what causes the brain connectivity in people with ASD to, essentially, go
off and do its own thing, and because they only studied the brains of adults,
they’re not sure when this idiosyncratic distortion is likely to occur. But they
suggest that it could be the result of how people interact and communicate with
their environments on an everyday basis. “From a young age, the average typical
person’s brain networks get molded by intensive interaction with people and
the mutual environmental factors,” says Hahamy in the press release. “Such
shared experiences could tend to make the synchronization patterns in the
control group’s resting brains more similar to each other. It is possible
that, in ASD, as interactions with the environment are disrupted, each one
develops a more uniquely individualistic brain organization pattern.” Sure, it’d
probably be far easier to understand how this disorder develops if we were able
to form a standardized template of what the brain of a high-functioning adult
with ASD should look like, instead of what we actually have, which is a bunch
of highly individualized patterns, but it’s incredibly valuable to finally get
a sense of why conflicting studies on connectivity exist. It offers something
entirely new to investigate as scientists try to figure out where it comes from,
and what those living with it are experiencing. Okay, so I found that
particularly interesting because I firmly believe that each autistic person
is basically perceiving the world in a unique and different and special way. And
whether that sometimes can be overloading and frustrating and
difficult to communicate, I think that is also kind of a beautiful and diverse
thing. So, it is very interesting, again, to see that really, even though
autistics tend to be able to share similar experiences, similar feelings,
similar reactions to things down to what’s the most sensitive to them, down
to whether they can handle human interaction in a certain way for a
certain amount of time, how many people they can handle in there, like, all those
sorts of things are so highly individualized and it looks like it has
to do a lot with how our brains work. And it does make me wonder if some of those
things have to do with people who felt compelled and forced to mask because
they’re talking about high functioning autistics. Of course, you are also dealing with
that not actually being a term that is used in the diagnostic process, so what
they consider high-functioning is a bit, like, loose in my opinion, but it is, … it’s an interesting thing to look into and know that we are very highly
individualistic in how our brain works, and in that sense, it’s really not fair
for people who are neurotypical to determine how we should think or how we
should perceive things. Because for them, the neurotypical response, while,
obviously, individual, is much more standard, much more standardized in
general, than the autistic experience. So, that’s really interesting to me. I
thought you might be interested in it. Sorry, this one’s a bit of a short video just kind of on an article, but I wanted to share it with you and give you a
video this week. So, if you enjoyed it, go ahead and leave a like. Let me know all
of your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoy hearing autism related
content from me, go ahead and hit that subscribe button. I try to upload every
Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. I hope you’re having a
wonderful week and see you in my next video. Bye!

10 thoughts on “Autism Study Supports “Once You’ve Met One Autistic Person, You’ve Met One Autistic Person.”

  1. Wait… so can high-functioning autism be diagnosed with a brain scan then?
    Or does this only work if the understanding of the condition (or lack thereof) is already a given?

  2. This subject has been on my mind lately and I’ve felt frustrated because I just couldn’t wrap my mind around this. Your video clarified this subject for me and I now don’t feel frustrated! Thank you ❤️

  3. Wouldn't it be a little easier to just get a brain scan if someone thinks they're on the spectrum? Or at least give hints? Sounds like it would help out more people

  4. It's a pretty neat finding, and less scary to me to hear about than all that gene editing, or efforts to find genetic links which I struggle to see them doing positive things with.

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