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Calls to Action

IACC Holds 2009 Meeting

December 11, 2009

Washington, DC (December 11, 2009) -- The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) met on Friday, December 11, via conference call and webinar accessible to the public. The primary purpose of Friday’s meeting was to consider two remaining sections (Questions 1 and 7) of proposed revisions to the Strategic Plan for Autism Research.

Question 7 is a new section of the plan devised to specify what infrastructure and surveillance needs must be met. The plan states that additional investment in infrastructure is necessary to encourage and enable individuals with ASD and their families to participate in research, to collect and share data among researchers, and to improve the speed with which findings are disseminated and translated into practice. Much of the discussion focused on ways to improve investigator participation in the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR). IACC approved a short-term objective to reach 90% participation in data sharing with NDAR. Additionally, it approved an objective to establish and maintain an international network of biobanks and support continued collection of brain, skin, fibroblasts, and other biomaterials. Question 7 was approved unanimously by the IACC.

Question 1 was also approved unanimously. This section of the plan is centered upon the goal that children at risk for ASD will be identified with reliable methods before behavioral characteristics are fully manifested. Its focus is on early childhood age and the means by which findings can be disseminated and health care professionals trained. It included a long-term objective to develop by 2014 a panel of biomarkers to accurately identify children, before age 2, at risk for one or more subtypes of ASD.

With Questions 1 and 7 approved, revisions from the meeting will be incorporated into a final revised version of the Strategic Plan expected to be approved in January 2010.

The IACC will next meet on January 19, 2010.