3 Top Autism Spectrum Research Sites
Where would we be without some of the breakthroughs research has provided over the last century and more?
Thanks to the scientific method, autism spectrum research continues to uncover greater insights about autism, as well as solutions for people and families on the autism spectrum.
Why Should We Care About Autism Spectrum Research?
Here are few reasons I thought of:
a) if you have autism spectrum condition, you’ll greatly benefit from learning all about it.
John Elder Robison, author of Look Me In the Eye, talked about the big difference that self-taught learning about Asperger’s made in his own personal growth and development. The more you learn, the more you can understand about how to relate to yourself and the world around you in a positive way.
b) if you are a parent to a child on the autism spectrum, you’ll be a great parent if you work to become a scholar in the area of autism spectrum conditions. The more you learn, the better you will be able to empathize with your child.
c) if you are a spouse or partner of someone on the autism spectrum, see b) above
d) if you are a teacher, speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor, you need to provide competent care based in effective, evidenced-based research. Staying current on research findings will help you give competent care.
I recently asked some top notch professionals on LinkedIn for their input to help me compile a list of some of the best autism spectrum research sites. Thank you to Gregory Lyons, who provided the following suggestions.
For the sake of brevity, I’m going to break this list into a few posts, given the long number of suggestions I received. These are the suggestions in the order I received them.
I wrote about this site at length in a recent Psychology Today blog post at Spectrum Solutions.
You can sign up for free at this site to gain access to some great research modules in 37 different domain areas pertaining to autism.
This Center brings together scientists from the FPG Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California at Davis, and the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The Center’s mission reads as follows:
“a multi-university center to promote the use of evidence-based practice for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders”
They focus on four content areas:
Content Development, which involves translating information about evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders into resources for service providers.
Professional Development: The center accomplishes this by providing training to state professionals. They translate information about evidence based practices into resources for service providers and set up training sites that model evidence-based practices in participating states.
Technical Assistance: They provide technical assistance to participating states and sites through ongoing training, and by establishing a network of professional development sites, trainers, and professional consultants.
Evaluation includes collecting follow-up date on the use of evidence-based practices, practitioner skills, and child and family outcomes.
One of my favorite sections of this site is the Presentations and Videos section. I recommend you to stop by and read/view those presentations and videos to stay current on research findings.
The Autism Science Foundation
Here is a quote regarding this organization’s mission with regard to autism research:
The Autism Science Foundation’s mission is to support autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of people and families affected by autism.
Our organization adheres to rigorous scientific standards and values. We believe that outstanding research is the greatest gift we can offer our families. Every research dollar counts.
After reviewing this site, I came up with a few pages I’d like to recommend to you.
Quick Facts About Autism This is a quick overview about signs/symptoms of the autism spectrum.
Research Studies by Year Here you can find a summary of all the research studies undertaken by year.
Interviews With Scientists What better way to stay current with autism research trends?!
Their Newsletter This is a way you can stay connected with the autism research foundation’s current research studies and events.
I enjoyed reading how they decide what to research within the autism spectrum. Their decisions about what studies to do are guided by their strategic plan, summarized as, “to accelerate and inspire research that will profoundly improve the health and well-being of every person on the autism spectrum across the lifespan.”
You can read the complete plan here
So, that was 5 minutes, right? I hope you’ll take much more than five minutes to read and bookmark the above sites, so that you can continue to deepen your understanding about autism spectrum facts and solutions based on research.
photo credit: Idaho National Laboratory
Do you have any suggestions of great research sites you’d like me to include?