People with autism and with schizophrenia find it difficult to interact and communicate with other people, because it is difficult for them to initiate social interactions or give appropriate responses in return. But the two disorders develop in very different ways, with autism occuring during infancy or early childhood and schizophrenia becoming apparent in early adulthood. Researchers studied the genetic overlap these psychiatric disorders using a measure of social communicative competence. They find that genes influencing social communication problems during childhood overlap with genes conferring risk for autism, but that this relationship lessens during adolescence. In contrast, genes influencing risk for schizophrenia were most strongly interrelated with genes affecting social competence during later adolescence, in line with the natural history of the disorder.