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Discover SPARK

Get the latest autism updates from SPARK, including information about genes and ASD research, webinars, and personal stories from our community.

Our 'genes' page provides short, easy-to-understand descriptions of genes linked to autism. Under 'research', you'll find the latest updates from SPARK and other autism studies. In our 'stories' section, families, scientists and others share their journeys. In our monthly webinars, speakers from the autism community provide useful information for families and people with autism. All are welcome--invitation links are issued in our monthly newsletter. If you have suggestions for webinar topics, please email us at webinars@sparkforautism.org.

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    Diet and Autism

    This is a joint webinar with SSC@IAN (Simons Simplex Collection at the Interactive Autism Network). In this webinar, Dr. Susan Hyman discusses why individuals with autism have food selectivity, what kinds of problems food selectivity can lead to, how a proper diet can impact behavior, and evidence for dietary treatments for symptoms of autism. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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    After 18 Years, a Genetic Diagnosis

    Carrie is one of the first SPARK participants to get a genetic result. Her mother, Lynn, says everything has changed and nothing has changed.

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    Sleep in ASD

    In this webinar, Dr. Ashura Buckley defines sleep terminology and discusses the basics of the sleep/wake cycle. She also talks about the types of sleep problems in people with ASD, current approaches to treatment and where to go from here. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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    Sleep Problems Linked to More Severe Autism

    Learn more about sleep challenges and autism.

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    The Importance of Motor Function and Physical Activity in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    In this webinar, Rujuta Bhatt Wilson, M.D. and Shafali Spurling Jeste, M.D., discuss an overview of what we know about motor function and impairments in individuals with autism, the importance of physical interventions in autism and existing physical activity programs like ACEing Autism for individuals with autism. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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    The Challenge of Physical Fitness for People with Autism

    Learn more about physical fitness and autism.

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    How Learning to Cook Can Help Teens With Autism

    Daily living skills, such as cooking, shopping and managing money, are a strong predictor of independence. The good news: these skills can be taught.

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    Breaking Down Autism Genetics

    In this webinar, Pamela Feliciano, Ph.D. discusses basic genetic terms and concepts, as well as the impact SPARK, will have on genetic discoveries in autism. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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    What Adults With Autism Would Like People to Know

    In December 2017, we asked our Facebook followers to finish this sentence: “As an adult with autism, I would like people to know …” The comments were varied, like the people who answered them, but we spotted some themes.

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    Sex Education and Autism

    Psychologist Eileen Crehan explains why sex education is so important for teens with autism and describes how her program in Chicago helps address some of the challenges.

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