Autism Research In Focus

Throughout April, several organizations are drawing attention to autism to encourage understanding and awareness of the disorder and acceptance of individuals who live, learn, and work on the autism spectrum. For some people, exploring the research in autism can add to their understanding and awareness — from clinical research to understand the symptoms and identify the causes, to field-initiated development of interventions and technology to support independent living and employment success. According to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a recent census found more than 1,500 research projects around the world focusing on autism. Currently (April 2020), there are more than a dozen NIDILRR-funded projects conducting research and development to support the independence of people with autism. Here are three ways to explore NIDILRR-funded research in this area:

Current and Completed Projects

The NIDILRR Program Database lists more than 3,000 projects funded over 40 years in all disability areas. Currently active projects in autism include

More than 45 completed projects are also listed in the Program Database, including Small Business Innovation Research projects that developed technology that is now available in the marketplace.

Research In Focus

These NIDILRR-funded projects published scores of peer-reviewed studies each year. Our Research In Focus series highlights these studies in lay-language summaries. We’ve featured a dozen autism-related studies in this series:

Research Literature

NARIC’s REHABDATA database indexes more than 200,000 pieces of research literature from the NIDILRR grantees and the greater disability and rehabilitation research community, including international research publications. More than 2,000 articles, books, reports, and consumer pieces on autism are indexed in this database, with more than 260 pieces produced by the grantee community:

That’s just a few ways to explore the literature indexed in REHABDATA. You can try your own search, browse through the current projects in the Program Database, and explore more articles in our Research In Focus series. If you are searching for organizations that support people with autism and their families, visit our Knowledgebase database. Our information specialists are also available to help you find the right research, books, or organizations to meet your needs.

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