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What is the ATN?

The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is a ground-breaking network of hospitals, physicians, researchers, and families at 14 locations (our “sites”) across the United States and Canada. We are working together to develop the most effective approach to medical care for children and adolescents affected by autism.

The ATN’s aim is to provide comprehensive, high-quality care by teams of healthcare professionals who understand autism spectrum disorders and excel at treating associated medical conditions including the sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal problems that can vex children with ASD and their families.

Family Centered

At ATN centers, parents experience a welcoming environment focused on family well-being.  In addition to maintaining the highest standard of medical care, ATN experts carry out innovative research to develop more effective treatment standards for the wider community.

Coordinated, Team-Based Care

The ATN offers families ongoing care from doctors experienced in treating autism and associated disorders. Clinical teams work together to provide comprehensive, coordinated care for patients and their families. Depending on their needs, patients can see:

  • Pediatricians
  • Child psychiatrists
  • Neurologists
  • Psychologists
  • Specialists in gastrointestinal, metabolic and sleep disorders

ATN centers can also offer or coordinate access to speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutritional counseling and  other specialty services. The ATN is committed to developing standards and guidelines for evaluating and treating physical conditions associated with autism, and to sharing these standards with a wide variety of other clinical programs.

Our Care Model: Whole Care for the Whole Family

The ATN Care Model represents a comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary care approach for children with ASD. It promotes a high standard of coordinated care for the whole child and family. An ATN center is essentially a nexus of autism care -- a place that provides the highest level of direct care and clinical expertise and also serves as a resource to local families, community physicians, behavioral practitioners, and educational advocates -- a cornerstone of the family’s care community. ATN Care Model follows these principles:

  • Self-Management Support:  Our clinicians work with the family to define child-specific treatment goals and to develop a whole- child care plan.
  • Shared-Decision Making:  Our clinicians involve parents in decision making concerning their child’s treatment and ongoing care.
  • Delivery System Design: Our system of care delivery is designed to allow for ongoing tracking of patient progress and regular follow-up, with clearly defined goals and health outcomes.
  • Multidisciplinary Team:  Our teams embody a  full range of expertise in autism healthcare.
  • Coordination of Care: Our teams provide your child  with streamlined and coordinated access to  specialized therapies, behavioral interventions, community and educational interventions and other related resources.
  • Decision Support: We assist families with decision making based on evidence-based practice guidelines and continually updated information on advances in the field of autism treatments.

Note: It should be understood that procedures for referrals to specialists and services differ from provider to provider and that charges for screening and treatment are subject to the governing policies of each individual institution. You should direct any enquiries about charges and payment arrangements to the specified contact person for each site.

In Addition to Seeing Patients…

In addition to caring for patients, ATN clinicians are continually updating their skills and staying abreast of the latest advances in our understanding and treatment of autism and its associated medical conditions. They are also actively engaged in the important work of sharing this knowledge with other health care professionals and the wider community.  Here are some of the things we do:

Clinical and Health Related Research

Our Registry database tracks the care and outcomes of children seen in network facilities. We are expanding the capacity to collect useful biological materials for the Registry. In doing so, we are increasing our ability to address a range of metabolic, genetic and gastrointestinal concerns through scientific research. These materials also provide the wider autism research community with the resources they need to advance autism screening and treatment. In addition, our ongoing clinical research continues to address issues related to diet and nutrition, psychiatric comorbidity and sleep disturbances, neurological problems, metabolic disorders, bone mineral density, constipation and toilet training, iron deficiency and other concerns. Our researchers are also looking into maternal cholesterol and autism, improving the measurement of treatment outcomes, and potential biomarkers in toddlers with autism and regression.

Dissemination and Training for Professionals

We are dedicated to making the highest quality autism care more widely available outside our centers. In serving this mission, we provide healthcare professionals the latest information about the diagnosis and treatment of autism and associated medical conditions. We do this by:

  • Publishing research in respected medical journals such as Pediatrics, to ensure that our findings reach the widest number of clinicians
  • Reaching thousands of primary care and specialist practitioners through presentations at international conferences
  • Publishing, presenting, and promoting evidence-based guidelines and other tools for autism clinicians
  • Providing multidisciplinary training and mentoring to medical and graduate level students through a variety of ATN institution-based training programs.

Outreach and Family Education

Our network is educating families and the community with the goal of achieving more informed and family-centered decision-making processes that match the needs and care of the whole child. We build on collaborative clinical research to provide families the latest and best information about effective care and treatment of patients with ASD. We produce and disseminate evidence-based, family-centered tool kits and training materials. Our tools and pamphlets address issues such as sleep, psychotropic medication management, behavioral intervention, toileting, feeding and complementary and alternative medicine. New topics are continually in development.

To see a list of our toolkits or to download them, click here.

Additional support for our efforts

In 2008 the ATN received a grant to operate as the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P). The grant was made available through the Combating Autism Act, which allocated substantial funding to the Health Resources and Services Agency (HRSA) for a variety of initiatives to increase the availability of resources targeted to autism spectrum disorders.

This initiative has bolstered our efforts in the areas of research, guideline development, training, and information distribution.

Partner organizations

ATN Clinical Coordinating Center
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)
James Perrin, M.D., Director, Clinical Coordinating Center
Daniel Coury, M.D., ATN Medical Director
Kirsten Klatka, M.S.W., Clinical Program Manager
Brian Winklosky, M.A., Clinical Research Program Manage

ATN Data Coordinating Center (Boston, MA) 
Massachusetts General Hospital Biostatistics Center
Dianne Finkelstein – Director
Eric Macklin - Biostatistician
Heather Symecko - Project Manager
Mariah Marilyn Barstow - Clinical Project Manager
Amy Shui - Biostatistician
Richard Morse - Systems Administrator
Anthony DeBenedictis - Software Developer/Website Management

 

Where can I find out more about the ATN?

Call or Fax us:
(609) 228-7310 ext. 87347
1 (888) 8-AUTISM, ext. 87347
En Español, ext. 775

Fax: (323) 549-0450 
Email us: 
atn@autismspeaks.org

Write to us: 
Autism Speaks - ATN 
6330 San Vicente Blvd. 
Suite 401 
Los Angeles, CA 90048


Please note: We do not provide medical advice. Users are urged to use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism, or the provision of services related to autism.