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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 to advance the evidence base on the effectiveness of interventions to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities and to advance best practices for early identification of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Autism intervention research programs address the needs of underserved populations, by considering ethnic/racial, cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, literacy and geographic (e.g., rural/urban) diversity of individuals for whom there is limited evidence of the effectiveness of interventions or for whom disparities in identification of ASD exist with limited understanding of the reasons for these disparities and evidence-based ways to close these gaps.

Autism Intervention Research Networks

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

The AIR-P Network provides national leadership on intervention research to improve the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents with ASD.  The General Hospital Corporation of Boston has been the awardee since 2008.  Other AIR-P activities include quality improvement collaboratives, development of guidelines and toolkits, dissemination and transfer of findings to improve the standard of care in clinical settings and provide resources for clinicians and families.

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

The AIR-B Network provides national leadership on intervention research to improve the behavioral health and well-being of children and adolescents with ASD.  The University of California at Los Angeles has been the awardee since 2008.  The AIR-B Network strives to equip parents, providers, educators, and community members with treatments that are practical in non-research settings, such as schools and homes, and proven to make an impact through studies evaluating core deficits of social communication in children with ASD from underrepresented and minority backgrounds. 

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Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet)

The Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet) is a collaborative scientific and clinical research network that fosters interdisciplinary research in developmental and behavioral pediatrics to advance clinical practice, optimize health and functional status of children with developmental and behavioral concerns and disorders, including children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.  The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been the awardee since 2010.

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

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. 

2014 Grantees

Tough choices: Autism, private health insurance and family out-of-pocket  
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Children's Early Diagnostic and Health Services
Patterns and Variations in Emergency Department Visits for U.S. Children with Autism: A Rural-Urban Comparison  
Peer-victimization of adolescents with ASD: Filling the knowledge gaps to create anti-bullying interventions  
Making a more effective and efficient SCQ  

2013 Grantees

(SDAS) Access to Therapy for Children with Autism: A Population-Based Analysis  
(SDAS) A Longitudinal Analysis of Maternal Depression and its Associations with Child Obesity and Health Care Use
(SDAS) Trends in Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities  
(SDAS) Dental Homes for Medicaid-Enrolled Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Iowa I-Smile Program  

2011 Grantees

(SDAS) Autism Intervention Challenges for Low-Income Children  
(SDAS) Transition Age Young Adults with Autism: The role of Self-determination, Social Skills, Job Search, Transportation, and Rehabilitation Services in Employment Outcomes
(SDAS) Access, quality and financial implications of the transitions of children with autism

2010 Grantees

(SDAS) Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Family Burden & Health Care of Children with Autism  
(SDAS) Medical service utilization by Medicaid-eligible children with autism in Georgia: An analysis of one year ofclaims and provider data
(SDAS) Autism Insurance Policy and Access to Care for Children with Autism: A State Level Analysis  

2009 Grantees

(SDAS) Services and Outcomes for Transition Age Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Secondary Analysis of the NLTS2 and RSA 911
(SDAS) The Effectiveness of Special Education Services for Children with Autism: A National Longitudinal Study

Autism Intervention Research Program  

The Autism Intervention Research Program supports research on to advance the evidence base on the effectiveness of interventions to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities and to advance best practices for early identification of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

2014 Grantees

Comparative Efficacy of a self-directed and therapist-assisted telehealth parent training intervention for children with ASD  
Comprehensive Communication Intervention for Minimally Verbal Children with Autism  
Does Mindfulness Training Enhance Early Evidence-based Parent-coaching Interventions  
Investigation of Teacher-Mediated Toilet Training Using a Manualized Moisture Alarm Intervention  
Parent Mediated Interventions in Autism: The Search for Meaningful Outcomes  
A controlled trial of sertraline in young children with ASD  
Screening and Linkage to Services for Autism (SaLSA)  

2013 Grantees

Addressing Health Disparities in ASD Diagnosis, Services, and School Engagement  
Improving Part C Services and Outcomes for Underserved Children with ASD
Toddlers and Families Together: Addressing Early Core Features of Autism

2012 Grantees

Efficacy of a qigong massage methodology for children with ASD aged 3-11 years
Predicting Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Down Syndrome

2011 Grantees

Controlled Trial of Sertraline in Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome
Behavioral Treatment through In-Home Telehealth for Young Children with Autism
Efficacy of the Home TEACCHing Program for Toddlers with Autism  
Comprehensive Support for Families with Autism: A Parent-based Mentoring Approach  
Studying the Impact of Service-Learning on Career Development, Self-determination, and Social Skill Building for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders  

2010 Grantees

Improved early identification of autism in Latino children
Transition to Adult Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder
A Parent to Parent Model of Support and Service Coordination for Families of Preschool Age Children with ASD
Predictors of effects of propranolol on language & connectivity in autism
Parent Implemented Training for Autism through Teleconsultation (PITA-T)
Use of a family navigator in Families with Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

2009 Grantees

Tele-health delivery of a family-focused intervention to reduce anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorders in rural Colorado
Parent-Mediated vs Center-based intervention for toddlers with ASD: An RCT
Family centered transition planning
Supporting the well-being of families of young children with autism spectrum disorders
Assessing a participant directed service system for low income children with ASD