Monthly News | September 2020


During these difficult times, scientific research needs to move forward in order to establish an effective standard of care for everyone on the autism spectrum. We feel that there is an urgency to find valid solutions as soon as possible in order to provide much-needed help, support, and guidance to those on the spectrum and their family members. This month we will be deciding which research projects to fund this year, and all of them will be investigating underlying causes and/or appropriate treatments. Next month we will share summary descriptions of these funded studies.
We wish everyone the very best during these challenging times.

Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D.
Executive Director
ARI News
New Book on Anxiety in Autism
Understanding and Treating Anxiety in Autism has been published. The book is edited by ARI's executive director, Stephen M. Edelson, and former ARI board member, Jane B. Johnson, and consists of chapters written by leading experts in the autism field. The book summarizes the current perspectives and research on anxiety in autism, including neurological, medical, immunological, gastrointestinal, nutritional, sensory, and behavioral.
Online Now at Tips for Identifying Good Scientific Research
Whether you are an individual with autism or a parent to a loved one, you may want to stay informed about scientific research related to ASD. You can find information on the internet and other media channels, but how accurate is that information? Knowing how to understand research studies can help you find reliable and relevant information that is based on science. 
Online now at The Relationship Between Autism and Seizures
Seizure disorders and epilepsy are frequently reported medical comorbidities in individuals with autism. While a correlation between the two exists, how they influence each other has yet to be determined.
ARI’s New Global Network
Earlier this year, ARI began networking parent support groups worldwide. The goal is to improve communication among support groups and to inform the international community of the current state of the science regarding the underlying biology of ASD, as well as evidence-based treatments. If you are a representative of a parent network group, please email our outreach coordinator. Please include your website address and/or a brief summary of your mission.
Research Updates
Editorial by ARI's Executive Director Stephen M. Edelson, PhD: Debating the Role of Genetics in ASD
The history of autism is replete with arguments about its underlying causes and treatments. While it is generally accepted that genes play a major and possibly a primary role in autism, we do not yet know how large this role is. In this editorial, I look at how far we have come in understanding genetic influences on autism and what we still need to learn.
ECHO Autism Project Offers Online Expertise for Providers Starting This November
Are you a primary care provider interested in caring for adults diagnosed with ASD? Primary care physicians, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants are invited to participate in online sessions focused on caring for the unique needs of adults. This program is being developed by specialists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. For information, email the program coordinator.
Free Webinar 9/23:
Evaluation & Treatment
The LADDERS model
Tune in to learn about the components of a multidisciplinary care center for individuals with autism. Presented by pediatric neurologist, Margaret Bauman, MD, of the Boston University School of Medicine.
Free Webinar 10/1:
Sensory Smart Strategies During the Pandemic|
Learn practical, safe strategies and activities for meeting sensory and motor needs at home, school, and in the community during the pandemic. Presented by Lindsey Biel, OTR-L, author of Raising a Sensory Smart Child.
COVID-19 resources and coping stories
Have you seen our new back-to-school online social story? Download your free copy now on our COVID-19 Resource page.
Coping with COVID-19: ARI's Live Webinars, Social Stories Help Families Cope

Life At Home: Share your Stories of Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This year, we asked families to share photos during Autism Awareness Month. In this unprecedented time, we shared your snapshots and stories about life at home. We have truly enjoyed reading your submissions and sharing them with our community. For now, we are leaving the portal open for anyone who still wishes to share their story; we would love to hear from you!
Sustain Innovative Research
Ensure researchers receive the funding they need to move forward
Over the next few weeks, ARI will be awarding its annual scientific research grants. The research community is deeply committed to continuing its work despite the pandemic. Investigators are grateful for your partnership.
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