Autism Speaks recently announced a new funding mechanism for international records-based epidemiology research and is currently requesting applications. The purpose of this request for applications is to lay the groundwork for prevalence studies of autism spectrum disorders outside of the U.S., using a records-based approach. In this instance, records-based epidemiology refers to using information from school, medical, and service records in establishing a population-based prevalence estimate. This methodology is similar to that used by the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring System, from which the current U.S. prevalence estimate of 1 in 150 children was ascertained. Just as this statistic has helped lead to an increased awareness of autism and has provided a platform for policy reform in the U.S., the results of these epidemiology studies have the potential to make autism a public health priority internationally. Additionally, international epidemiology studies such as these can help generate clues about the potential causes, both genetic and environmental, that occur with different frequency in different populations around the world.
For more information or to download the request for applications please visit the open grants page of the Autism Speaks website.
For general information on epidemiology and answers frequently asked questions, please find our epidemiology information guide here (PDF).