Deepening our understanding of autism. Improving the lives of people across the autism spectrum.
Learn about our Science programs:
Autism by the Numbers
Autism Speaks is bringing together data sources to address gaps in nationwide autism data with Autism by the Numbers, created in collaboration with the National Autism Data Center at Drexel University. For the first time, the Autism by the Numbers Dashboard and Annual Report centralize autism data across the United States to foster insights into the systems that serve autistic individuals , spotlight accessibility of supports and services, and enable advocacy in key areas for the autistic community.
The goal: To deliver greater visibility into the landscape of autism supports and services in order to facilitate planning and advocacy.
Autism by the Numbers encourages autistic individuals, families, advocates and researchers to better understand the utilization of select autism services, outcomes and policies across the U.S., including early diagnosis and intervention, healthcare costs and transition to adulthood.
Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships
Autism Speaks’ research fellowships support groundbreaking research by early career investigators, under the guidance of the field’s leaders.
The goal: To launch the careers of highly promising autism researchers, while advancing research that improves lives.
Already, many of our fellows have made important discoveries about autism and how to better meet the needs of people on the spectrum.
Autism Care Network
The Autism Care Network is the first and only network of its kind focused on better autism care, delivered at scale and at speed, to improve health and quality of life for children with autism and their families throughout North America.
The goal: To improve the health of people with autism.
The Autism Care Network is a groundbreaking shift that transforms how better care is developed, connecting the dots between families, researchers, and healthcare teams to continuously improve whole-person and whole-family autism care.
As a learning health system, the learning begins with patient insights, which drive research questions to understand what treatments are most helpful for which patients. Then these findings are shared to providers across the Network and in local communities. This significant shift in autism care improvements accelerates research findings and gets them into provider’s offices years earlier than traditional research.
With 20 sites across the United States and Canada – and more sites joining each year – people across the spectrum will benefit sooner from research findings, be empowered to reach their full potential and improve their quality of life — faster and regardless of geography.
Autism and Aging Initiative
Autism Speaks hosted a virtual Thought Leadership Summit on Autism and Aging bringing together families, self-advocates, researchers and policymakers to discuss the issues facing autistic adults as they age.
The goal: To explore the needs of autistic adults as they age and identify directions for future research and policy.
Over two days of sessions, presenters shared the top challenges faced by aging autistic adults, discussed policy considerations, provided an overview of the existing research and identified opportunities for further action to support this community.
MSSNG provides autism researchers with free access to thousands of sequenced genomes from families affected by autism.
The goal: To speed the development of more effective and personalized interventions for autism and its associated health conditions.
MSSNG has grown into one of the world’s largest open-access genome databases.
- To date, more than 9,000 people (with autism or in families affected by autism) have contributed genetic material for sequencing.
- More than 100 autism researchers are analyzing MSSNG data at 55 institutions in 13 countries.
We are also creating a MSSNG community portal. It will help participants understand the genetic variations that affect them. They can opt to connect with others affected by similar genes.
Global Autism Public Health (GAPH)
Through GAPH, Autism Speaks helps underserved communities meet the needs of the world’s growing autism population.
The goal: To deliver practical and culturally appropriate services that improve lives.
We do this through research and partnerships with families, researchers, advocacy groups and governments in more than 70 countries.
Caregiver Skills Training (CST)
Around the world, many children with autism and other developmental disabilities lack access to quality care and interventions. To help these families, the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from Autism Speaks, developed the Caregiver Skills Training for Families of Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities.
The goal: To make quality evidence-based interventions accessible in underserved communities around the world.
At no cost to families, the evidence-based CST program teaches parents and caregivers the day-to-day skills they need to help their children reach their full potential. Parents and caregivers also learn essential problem solving and self-care skills to build confidence, reduce stress and improve their overall well-being—all while learning how to better support their children.
Autism Speaks is now helping test and refine the program in a broad range of underserved communities in the United States and abroad.
Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN)
The Autism Speaks Advocacy Leadership Network is a global collective of accomplished advocates representing families, professionals and governments united in their efforts to promote greater autism awareness and improve the wellbeing of autistic people and their families.
The goal: To facilitate and expedite the delivery of answers and promote wellbeing and better outcomes worldwide.
Since 2012, the biennial ALN conference has served as a unique opportunity for these network members to get together, share their knowledge and deepen their connections. Conversations and workshops on shared interests and priorities, such as best practices in raising awareness, delivering care, as well as latest advances in autism research, have helped develop and focus ideas for collaborations among network members.
Participate in autism research
Use our Participate in Research search engine to find studies and surveys seeking participants in the autism community.
Autism Speaks Advocacy
Autism Speaks is committed to encouraging scientific advancements through policy. We believe that our country needs to do more to support research that will improve treatments and services to ensure each person on the spectrum is able to meet their full potential. The best catalyst for this effort would be for elected officials to join us in our call to double the federal investment in autism research.