Decreased Interhemispheric Functional Connectivity in Autism, abstract description of the study's autism participants .... all persons with High Functioning Autism. Once again, the study which puports to draw conclusions about "autism" presumably referring to all of the Pervasive Developmental, or Autism Spectrum Disorders, excludes those most severely affected by autism disorders:
Decreased Interhemispheric Functional Connectivity in Autism
In one breath the study authors acknowledge that the exclusion of low functioning autistic patients restricted their findings from being extended to those patients (or to other excluded groups, including females and younger children). In the next breath though, and in the title of their report and magazine articles the study findings are reported as being applicable to autism generally.
This is not the first study to exclude low functioning or intellectually disabled autistic subjects from "autism" studies. Prominent autism researcher, and DSM-5 panelist, Catherine Lord has identified the tendency to exclude autistic subjects with severe to profound intellectual disabilities:
"However, research in ASD has tended to use overwhelmingly White, middle to upper middle class samples, and has often excluded children with multiple disabilities and/or severe to profound intellectual disabilities".
The lip service qualifying statement in this recent fMRI study report did not preclude the authors from making generalizations about autism as found across the spectrum notwithstanding the exclusion of low functioning autistic persons from the study. Articles commenting on this and other studies may or may not repeat that qualification. Most certainly all will be accompanied by headlines reporting new "autism" findings. Low functioning autistics are routinely excluded from major media institutions that like to focus on the barely affected, very high functioning persons with Aspergers or HFA, the Ari Ne'emans, Alex Planks, JohnMichelle Dawsons and Temple Grandins.
As in the popular media, so too in "scholarly", "scientific" research. "Autism" just doesn't meant what it use to.
Alleged "autism" spectrum research is anything but representative of the autism "spectrum" disorders.