Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) Training Program
The LEND Program provides interdisciplinary training to enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of professionals dedicated to caring for children with neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities, including autism. Funded through the Autism CARES Act, 52 LEND programs:
- Increase awareness of ASD;
- Reduce barriers to screening and diagnosis;
- Promote the use of evidence-based interventions for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities; and
- Train professionals to use valid screening tools to both diagnose and rule out ASD and other developmental disabilities.
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Training Program
The DBP Training Program trains the next generation of leaders in developmental-behavioral pediatrics in order to enhance behavioral, psychosocial, and developmental aspects of pediatric care. The program focuses on:
- Supporting fellows in developmental-behavioral pediatrics by preparing them for leadership roles as teachers, investigators, and clinicians advancing the field; and
- Providing pediatric practitioners, residents, and medical students with essential biopsychosocial knowledge and clinical expertise.
The Autism CARES Act National Interdisciplinary Training Resource Center
This resource center seeks to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents who have, or are at risk for developing, ASDs and other developmental disabilities. The center is currently housed at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) under the name Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center, or ITAC.
Through technical assistance to interdisciplinary training programs (i.e., the LEND and DBP programs), ITAC helps programs better train professionals working with children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.
State Implementation Grants for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (SIGs)
SIGs aim to improve access to care through referrals, timely diagnosis and feedback, and entry into quality, coordinated care across systems for children with ASD/DD.
State Public Health Coordinating Center for Autism
The Center is a web-based resource that provides ongoing technical assistance, resource development, and peer and cross-state learning.
Its goal is to increase the capacity of states, particularly Title V programs, in administering systems of care for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD).
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) houses it under the name State Public Health Autism Resource Center, or SPHARC.
Autism Research Investments
Autism Intervention Research Networks
The Autism Intervention Research Networks establish and maintain an interdisciplinary, multicenter research forum for scientific collaboration and infrastructure building. They provide national leadership in research to advance the evidence base on effective interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) as they transition to adulthood across the lifespan. The Research Networks develop guidelines for those interventions and disseminate information related to such research and guidelines as authorized by the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2019 (Autism CARES Act).
Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P Network)
AIR-P provides national leadership in research to advance the evidence base on effective interventions for children and adolescents with ASD/DD, with a focus on addressing physical health and well-being across the lifespan. Physical health may include, but is not limited to, medical, dental, visual, nutrition, and speech/hearing components.
Awardee: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B)
AIR-B provides national leadership in research to advance the evidence base on effective interventions for children and adolescents with ASD/DD, with a focus on addressing behavioral health and well-being across the lifespan.
Awardee: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet)
DBPNet provides national leadership in research to advance the evidence base in the developmental, behavioral, and psychosocial aspects of pediatric care. DBPNet works to develop effective interventions in clinical services and health and related outcomes for children and adolescents with ASD/DD across the lifespan.
Awardee: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Healthy Weight Research Network for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities (HWRN)
HWRN provides national leadership in research designed to improve the promotion of healthy weight through the prevention and treatment of overweight, obesity and underweight among children and adolescents with ASD/DD.
Awardee: University of Massachusetts
Single Investigator Innovation Program (SIIP)
The SIIP program supports two projects focused on priority or emerging ASD/DD research areas, and research topics with limited research. Current SIIP projects include:
Autism Longitudinal Data Project (ALDP)
ALDP supports the implementation and completion of research studies that examine longitudinal data on ASD/DD to study risk factors for these conditions, the effects of various interventions, and trajectories of child development over the life course. ALDP addresses the following:
- Physical and behavioral aspects of development and assessment at different stages of life course development;
- Underserved populations, including minority, urban or rural populations;
- Early life origins and onset;
- Maternal and perinatal origins;
- High-risk populations;
- Development and course of condition;
- Primary prevention; and
- Development of potential intervention studies.
Awardee: Johns Hopkins University
Autism Transitions Research Project (ATRP)
ATRP supports the implementation and completion of programmatic research studies that examine factors associated with healthy life transitions among adolescents and young adults with ASD who are transitioning to adulthood in order to:
- Advance the evidence base available to researchers, providers, policy makers, educators, adolescents and young adults with ASD and their families, and the public regarding factors associated with healthy life (physical, social, mental health, and educational/occupational) outcomes among this population;
- Address the critical need that exists for ASD transitions research that targets the social environment and not just the individual; and
- Provide national leadership and education in research on healthy transitions to adulthood for this population.
Awardee: Drexel University
Autism Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies Program (Autism FIRST)
The Autism FIRST program supports research studies testing the implementation of new/innovative strategies that address critical issues surrounding the health of children and adolescents with ASD. There is a special focus on addressing the needs of underserved populations and on promoting health and well-being through supports and services offered to children and youth with ASD (and their families) up to the age of 21, recognizing that these years lay the foundation for health and well-being across the lifespan.
Awardees: University of Colorado and University of Washington
Autism Secondary Data Analysis Research (Autism SDAR) Program
The Autism SDAR Program supports secondary data analysis of existing publicly available and accessible national databases and/or administrative records to advance best practices and determine the evidence-based practices for interventions that improve the physical and behavioral health of children and adolescents with ASD/DD. The Autism SDAR program supports secondary data analyses of national datasets and/or administrative records to advance the evidence base on interventions designed to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents with ASD/DD, with a particular focus on addressing barriers to identification, diagnosis, interventions and services among underserved populations.
Awardees: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University, University of Missouri, and University of South Florida