Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 241–257

Autism Research: Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future


DOI: 10.1007/s10803-004-2003-9

Cite this article as:
Rutter, M. J Autism Dev Disord (2005) 35: 241. doi:10.1007/s10803-004-2003-9

The paper uses both the author’s experience of research training, and the empirical studies of autism in which he participated over the last 40-plus years, to derive research lessons and to consider the needs and prospects for future research. Attention is drawn to: the importance of mentors; the need to use technologies in a hypothesis-testing fashion; the important of possible creative/innovative leaps and of recognition of the unexpected; the need to ask challenging questions and to recognize when the original ideas were mistaken. There is great value in broadening the scientific strategies used to investigate a particular condition and much is to be gained by deliberately seeking parallels with other conditions.


Experiments epidemiology matching groups intervention studies quantitative and molecular genetics standardized measures research-clinical interplay collaboration developmental regression neural dysfunction cognitive deficits sex differences Asperger syndrome comorbidity rising incidence 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SGDP CentreInstitute of PsychiatryDenmark HillUK

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