Liliana Ruta, Bonnie Auyeung, Simon Baron-Cohen
Although there were one or two small scale studies (from Holland) looking at puberty in autism, suggesting boys with autism enter puberty earlier than average, there has never been a large scale study of this important phase in development. Puberty is of interest as a marker for endocrine function or dysfunction. Our survey of testosterone-related medical conditions suggested delayed puberty in women with Asperger Syndrome, and their mothers, and this was confirmed in an independent sample by our group. This new study will study puberty year by year during adolescence, measuring hormonal changes via blood samples, to obtain a more detailed longitudinal description of endocrine changes in autism.