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Read more about: Therapies and treatments

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.

Answers for Autism

We asked you what you wanted to know about autism, and you responded with thought-provoking and important questions.

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Autism Treatments: What We Know and Don’t Know

The speaker for our ninth webinar is Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist who works at both Columbia University and the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, in White Plains, New York. In this webinar, Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele discusses what kinds of medicines and treatments for autism are out there and how researchers identify what works. He also offers practical advice about different medications and their side effects to parents of children with autism and adults with autism. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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Why Autism Research Matters

Why should you care about autism research? Simply put, the goal of research is to learn more about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that may mean better treatments and school programs down the road. It also may provide a much better understanding of ASD.

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Understanding Research: An Autism Researcher Answers Your Questions

Consumers and patients are bombarded with information about medical research and autism treatments almost daily. Often these articles and social media posts include terms that can mean many different things. J. Kiely Law, M.D., MPH, research director and co-founder of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), answers some common questions about what research really is and isn’t.

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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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ASD Consultation and Treatment Across the Lifespan

The speaker for our second webinar is renowned autism expert Catherine Lord, Ph.D. Her talk will feature a discussion on interventions and what types of questions parents or independent adults with ASD should ask doctors and specialists. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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Practical Strategies to Address Challenging Behavior

Children with autism can present with challenging behavior. Problem behavior can significantly interfere with and limit educational and social opportunities, negatively impact family functioning, and if not addressed can limit overall community integration experiences. This talk will provide an overview of the potential reasons why problem behavior exists and practical strategies that parents and teachers can implement to prevent the development of problem behavior. This webinar is 90 minutes long.

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Feeding Problems in Children with Autism

Research differs on how prevalent picky eating is in children with autism, but it does make clear that children with autism are much more likely than typically developing children to be selective about food.

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