Ashleigh Warren had questions about autism spectrum disorder. Why do relatively few girls and women have autism? Why are many people on the spectrum sensitive to sound or touch?Read More
Read more about: participant
People from all over the country are joining SPARK, and they want to share their stories. From anecdotes about registering for SPARK to accounts of how families dealt with diagnoses, SPARK community members are sharing their experiences with one another.
Meet some of our SPARK participants by exploring this section.
Finding information about, and services for, autism seemed like a mystery to Cara Stepanian. Her family took steps to shed more light on ASD.Read More
When Trudi Sullivan was being evaluated for an autism spectrum disorder, she was ushered into a room that included a child-sized chair. That chair was a reminder that she was getting her diagnosis later than most people — decades later.Read More
The Lombardis joined SPARK to help scientists learn more about autism and epilepsy, which both affect son RJ. They want better treatments to reduce the risks of seizures. “This is a matter of life or death,” RJ’s mother says.Read More
As a young man, Adam Farris found himself in a tough place. With poor social skills, he could not keep a job or friends. Then he received an autism diagnosis – and help with social and life skills. With that, he transformed his life.Read More
Their son’s genetic diagnosis revealed an undiagnosed heart condition.Read More
The Marine Corps helped instill in Rico Winston a strong belief in duty. So when his son was diagnosed with autism, he knew what he must do. He immersed himself in learning about autism, and advocating for research and services to help others like his son.Read More
Kaylee Lurvey may go years without saying a word, and then speak a complete sentence. Her family hopes researchers will discover ways to unlock speech and other skills in people like Kaylee.Read More
Leigh Merryday Porch, a mother of a son with autism, wants to help researchers find out why autism affects people so differently. That’s one of the reasons she joined SPARK.Read More
Dylan Robey loves insects, all of them, even the dreaded cockroach. Like many people with autism, Dylan has what researchers call a special interest, in his case, in bugs. Others might call it a passion for the unappreciated.Read More