Research and eugenics

Let us be clear on our position around finding a cure for autism

There is no cure for autism, and we do not support research searching for a cure. As the understanding of autism has greatly evolved over the last 20 years, we removed the term from our vocabulary many years ago. In fact, Autism Speaks’ investment in research over the years to better understand autism has been instrumental in confirming the knowledge that autism is a disability and not a curable disease.

Today, the goal of our genetics research is focused on understanding the diverse healthcare needs of the autistic community and what impacts their quality of life. Through our PATH to Discovery program, we hope to understand all the different subtypes of autism in order to provide information to autistic people and their families that helps them make more informed decisions about their health.

We do not support eugenics

The focus of our genetics research is to help more autistic people access personalized care that will empower them to lead their best lives. Over the last two decades, Autism Speaks has made significant investments in the field of autism research and care through our genomic initiatives, including MSSNG, the world’s largest whole genome sequencing database. These efforts have allowed the field of autism research to utilize our database to unlock DNA secrets and uncover new understandings of autism subtypes and treatment targets to guide personalized healthcare.

Read two family's stories on how participating in the MSSNG program improved their understanding of their son’s autism and helped them seek out personalized healthcare.

Our Science programs extend far beyond genetics

  • Our Autism Care Network (ACNet), a network of 20 medical centers and academic facilities in the U.S. and Canada, is developing cutting edge care and best practices for autistic people across the lifespan.
  • Our public health initiatives make quality evidence-based interventions accessible in underserved communities around the world through programs like the World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training (CST).
  • Our research grants fund predoctoral and postdoctoral research studies on topics like mental health, aging and autism, auditory processing and more.
  • Our Autism by the Numbers platform centralizes evidence-based autism data in a single easy-to-use platform.

Learn more about Science and research programs at Autism Speaks.

Learn more about the ways we’re partnering with researchers to help support the autism community

Meet Patrick Dwyer

Patrick is an autistic Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Davis who received an Autism Speaks Royal Arch Research Assistance predoctoral fellowship in 2021. His research is focused on understanding sensory processing differences in autism.


Meet Einat Rivka Waizbard Bartov

Einat is a clinical psychologist and Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Davis who received an Autism Speaks predoctoral fellowship in 2021. She is doing research to understand camouflaging, or masking, in autistic girls.


Explore our other funded research studies.