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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Maternal and Child Health

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Combating Autism: Research Program

The research program supports national research networks and field-initiated research projects on evidence-based interventions to improve the health and well being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Autism intervention research programs address the needs of underserved populations, such as low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, individuals who have limited access to services, and other underserved populations.

Autism Intervention Research Networks

Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P Network)

A $4 million cooperative agreement was awarded in FY 2008 to the General Hospital Corporation of Boston, for a three-year project totaling $12 million. In FY 2011, the General Hospital Corporation successfully re-competed for and was awarded the AIR-P cooperative agreement for another three-year project period.  Research focuses on interventions to improve the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disabilities. 

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Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B Network)

A $2 million cooperative agreement was awarded in FY 2008 to the Regents of the University of California at Los Angeles, for a three-year project totaling $6 million.  In FY 2011, UCLA successfully re-competed for and was awarded the AIR-B cooperative agreement for another three-year project period. Research focuses on the behavioral, mental, social, and/or cognitive health and well-being of children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disabilities.  

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Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet)

A $200,000 cooperative agreement was awarded in FY 2010 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for a three-year project totaling $600,000.  In FY 2013, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia successfully re-competed for and was awarded the DBPNet cooperative agreement for another three-year project period.  The goals of the network are to: 1) provide an infrastructure to support rapid scientific discovery, 2) conduct ongoing, interactive, and collaborative activities among network members, 3) identify cutting edge research projects and leverage network capacity to compete for grant opportunities from other federal agencies or private foundations, 4) foster research and mentorship opportunities for new investigators, and 5) enrich the field with peer reviewed publications. 

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MCH Research Network on Promoting Healthy Weight (HW-RN)

A $200,000 cooperative agreement was awarded in FY 2013 to the University of Massachusetts, for a three-year project totaling $600,000.  The HW-RN is an interdisciplinary research network aimed at improving our understanding of factors contributing to the possible increased risk of overweight and obesity among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other special health care needs. This network will develop a research agenda, conduct research using existing datasets and/or health records and disseminate research findings to increase prevention efforts, improve health care delivery services, and improve the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents with ASD and other special health care needs. The MCH HW-RN will also identify surveillance opportunities, and develop approaches to test the initial efficacy, feasibility and acceptability of an intervention program designed to reduce excessive weight among children and youth with ASD and other special health care needs.
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Autism Intervention Secondary Data Analysis Studies Program

The Autism Intervention Secondary Data Analysis Studies Program supports research on evidence-based practices for interventions to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, utilizing exclusively the analysis of existing secondary data. 

2013 Grantees

Thomas Jefferson University
American University
Brandeis University
University of Washington

2011 Grantees

Regents of the University of California
University of Massachusetts Boston
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2010 Grantees

Brandeis University
Georgia State University 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2009 Grantees

University of Massachusetts
University of North Carolina at Chapel LEND

Autism Intervention Research Program  

Autism Intervention Research supports research on evidence-based practices for interventions to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.

2013 Grantees

University of Massachusetts
Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger, Inc.
UNC-Chapel Hill

2012 Grantees

Western Oregon University
Massachusetts General Hospital

2011 Grantees

University of California, Davis
University of Iowa
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of Colorado, Denver
University of Massachusetts, Boston

2010 Grantees

Georgetown University
Massachusetts General Hospital
New York State Department of Health
University of Connecticut Health Center
University of Missouri
West Virginia University

2009 Grantees

University of Colorado
Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc.
University of New Hampshire
Boston Medical Center
Brandeis University