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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.

Autism Heroes: Ann Palmer

Over the last 20 years, Ann Palmer has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of families get the autism services and support that they need. Palmer has an adult son with autism. She began working in the field when her son, now 33, was about 9 years old.

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Autism Heroes: Sarah Easterling

Sarah Easterling teaches English and science to fourth-graders at Palmer Elementary School in Missouri City, Texas. At Palmer, children with special needs, including autism and dyslexia, join mainstream classes.

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Autism Heroes: Dr. Patricia Manning

Patty Manning, a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, sometimes sees patients in unusual places—in a car seat, walking around the hospital’s library, or simply in the clinic hallway. As a specialist treating children with autism spectrum disorders, she follows her patients’ needs and moods on that particular day.

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Meet Amy Gravino

Amy Gravino was recently asked to take part in the SPARK online research partnership, and was both excited and apprehensive to hear about the study’s purpose and intended goals.

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Meet Sunghee Park

Sunghee Park and her family have a packed schedule. They participated in SPARK because online participation is perfect for her and her son.

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Meet Pam Kattouf

Pam Kattouf and her family want to accelerate research to discover better treatments for people with autism. They know that the more people that participate, the better research can be, and hope that many more will join SPARK.

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Meet Darnell Carr Newsum

Darnell Carr Newsum has two children with autism, each with unique strengths and challenges. By participating in SPARK, she hopes researchers can uncover some of the causes and supports for her children and many others.

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Meet Alycia Halladay

Years of professional experience in the autism field and the personal experience of having a daughter with autism spectrum disorder have Alycia Halladay invested in advancing autism research.

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