Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P Network)
Principal Investigator: Alice Kuo
Project Number: UT2MC39440
Grantee: University of California, Los Angeles
Department/Center: School of Medicine
Project Date: 09/01/2020
- Early Childhood (3-5 years)
- Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
- Adolescence (12-18 years)
- Young Adulthood (19-25 years)
- Special Health Care Needs
Autistic individuals have significantly lower average physical and mental health-related quality of life compared to other underserved and vulnerable groups. The proposed Research Network will support innovative life course intervention research that promotes optimal health and well-being of autistic individuals across the lifespan in seven key areas: health care services, primary care/prevention, well-being interventions, health care transitions, sexual health, neurology, and genetics.
Goal(s) and Objectives:
The proposed Research Network will establish and maintain an interdisciplinary, multicenter research network for scientific collaboration and infrastructure to increase the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individuals, with a focus on underserved/vulnerable populations. Objectives include conducting ongoing needs assessments to identify the needs, experiences, and priorities of autistic individuals and their families and the current gaps in the research, practice, and policy spheres; designing a portfolio of multi-site intervention research studies, translating research to policy and practice; implementing small grants funding to facilitate the research training and mentorship of diverse junior/new investigators in this field; and disseminating AIR-P findings. PROPOSED ACTIVITIES AND TARGET POPULATION(S): The Network will advance intervention studies focused on autistic individuals across the lifespan; develop a centralized data repository for research in this area; incubate a small grants program; and create a process for research from proposals to publication with AUCD's network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.
The Research Network will consist of a Network Coordinating Center (NCC) based at UCLA as well as 15 Collaborating Research Entities/Sites (CREs) and seven Research Nodes with expertise in priority areas for autistic individuals. AUCD will serve a key role in managing the overall functioning of the Network and will serve as the data repository for the initiative. Research that will be supported within the Network will require review, feedback, and approval from a self-advocate and family review committee to ensure that all Network research directly benefits autistic individuals. PRODUCTS: The proposed Research Network will produce an Annual supplement in Pediatrics, as well as peer-reviewed publications, webinars, and conference presentations. We will also organize two AIR-P research days in conjunction with the AUCD and CARES conferences each year. Our new website will be an interactive repository to showcase our deliverables.
We will use a combination of process and outcome measures to assess the Network and the effectiveness and efficiency in attaining all goals and objectives.