Understanding Autism

Join a growing community of families, autistic adults, and researchers working to understand autism and improve lives.

WHY JOIN SPARK

  • You’ll be part of the largest autism research community
  • It’s simple and free
  • SPARK is a long-term study that will provide answers to research questions for years to come
  • Together we can advance the understanding of autism

Who Can Join

  • SPARK is for all individuals living in the U.S. with a professional diagnosis of autism and their family members
  • All ages are welcome

How to Join

  • Create an account online
  • Agree to share data and genetic information
  • Registration takes about 20 minutes

What Participation Means

  • Participation is online and free
  • Your information will be kept private and secure
  • Answer questions about your autism experience
  • Return your saliva kit if you agree to genetic research
  • Learn about additional research opportunities
New to SPARK? Learn more.
Already a participant? Visit your personal SPARK Dashboard.

MEET OUR PARTICIPANTS

Black Families in SPARK Reveal Barriers to Autism Help
Black Families in SPARK Reveal Barriers to Autism Help

Black families seeking help for an autistic child may face barriers that include racism, stigma, cultural differences, a lack of information, and limited access to care. That's according to two studies of Black participants in SPARK.

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An Autism Diagnosis in Middle Age Answers Decades of Questions
An Autism Diagnosis in Middle Age Answers Decades of Questions

LaVell Juricich spent almost six decades trying to fit in and wondering why she didn't. When she was 58, she got the answer: she has autism. Now she hopes that research will help others on the spectrum to be who they are.

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Uncovering Sleep Problems in Autism
Uncovering Sleep Problems in Autism

Many children and adults on the spectrum struggle to get a good night's sleep. Some SPARK participants are wearing devices that measure their sleep and awake patterns for a new study examining the links between autism, sleep, and genetics.

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WEBINARS

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Upcoming
Jessica Girault, Ph.D.

Jessica Girault, Ph.D.

Webinar: Infant Visual Brain Development in Autism

March 27, 2024

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Jamie Upshaw, M.S., M.A.

Jamie Upshaw, M.S., M.A.

Webinar: The Effects of Autism on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

February 20, 2024

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CONTACT US