“Researchers’ understanding of autism has greatly advanced since the disorder was formally named in the 1940s. The earliest investigations into autism put forth a now wholly discredited notion that cold, detached parenting somehow stunted emotional and social growth. Today, scientists and families know that autistic characteristics exist on a spectrum; that many people with the disorder can and do lead long, healthy, happy lives; and that the root causes for autism involve a still-unresolved constellation of genetic and environmental factors. At San Diego State University, psychologists and special education researchers are helping to advance the state of the science of autism and explore understudied aspects of the disorder.
SDSU psychologist Axel Müller directs the university’s Brain Development Imaging Lab. Since he joined the university 17 years ago, he has brought in $10 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore how connections between cells in the brains of typically developing children differ from those with autism spectrum disorder.”