CHANGE THE FUTURE OF AUTISM

Transforming science into solutions through research for diagnoses and treatment.

Invest in a future where children with autism reach their full potential. We believe research is the key to developing better means to diagnose and treat autism spectrum disorder earlier.

 

Research focuses on:

• Neuroimaging

• Social neuroscience

• Spoken communication

• Clinical trials

• Advancing the profession

 

Your donation in these areas of research will
power future care, outreach and teaching.

THE DIFFERENCE WE COULD MAKE TOGETHER

Here is what your donation could make possible:

• Advance treatment of autism through research.

• Speed research from the lab to a patient.

• Provide state-of-the-art testing equipment.

• Train tomorrow’s autism professionals.

 

We believe early diagnosis and intervention can make a difference for children in Georgia and across the country. That’s why we continue to lead the way in research to recognize early symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. By funding this vital research, you will support families by providing urgent needs and lasting impact.

 

NEUROIMAGING

Mapping brain and behavior changes in infants

Brain development is different in typically developing children than in infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. We don't know enough about how our brains grow and change in this crucial window of time. Unless we can watch the brain develop through our imaging studies, we will never get the answers we need to efficiently target diagnoses and therapies for autism.

SOCIAL NEUROSCIENCE

Eye-tracking technology answers important questions

For each infant and toddler, autism spectrum disorder develops along a trajectory with different symptoms and markers. Marcus Autism Center pioneered eye-tracking technology that can detect early signs of autism. We want to identify when brain and behavior disruptions first emerge to identify optimal windows for intervention. Your support will translate this world-leading technology into clinical practice.

 

How children look at mom’s face is guided by genetics and disrupted in children that have autism.

A new study reveals direct genetic influence on the way infants see their social world—behaviors that are disrupted in children with autism. Marcus Autism Center and research partners in Atlanta and St. Louis found striking evidence for the role of genetics in shaping how children pay attention to the world.

 

Genetic influence directly affecting how individual infants look
at and perceive the world has never before been demonstrated. The results show that variation in how children seek social information is under genetic control. These same behaviors were found to be decreased in children affected by autism, providing an important new link between autism’s behavioral presentation and its underlying genetic causes. The results are reported in the July 12, 2017, online publication of the journal Nature.

 

SPOKEN COMMUNICATION

Preventing language problems before they appear

Language ability at age 2 is the best indicator of long-term outcome in autism in adulthood. This problem can be prevented before it begins to appear. Every child deserves a voice. With your help, we can map out the pathways by which autism impacts early vocal development, so signs of speech and language deficits can be detected before they occur, and targeted interventions can be designed to ensure every child is able to talk.

CLINICAL TRIALS

Turning research into new treatments and practices

Innovation starts with one child. What is learned from patients turns into new clinical practices supported by solid evidence. The difference between clinical expertise helping one or two children or moving into the community is as small as collecting extra data during treatment. Your support ensures the lessons children teach about living with autism are captured and used to maximize the potential for all children.

Clinical trial improves treatment

Marcus Autism Center clinicians developed a new approach to successfully toilet train an older child with encopresis, or bowel movement accidents. That initial positive outcome led to another successful case, and then another, and another. A clinical program treating three children was created. This led to a pilot study, funded by a private foundation, that evaluated the new intervention with 24 children. Based on that success, the team received a large grant to evaluate it with 150 children in a clinical trial that has the potential to change how children with autism spectrum disorder and encopresis are treated everywhere.

Did you know?

Marcus Autism Center faculty members published the largest behavioral randomized clinical trial on autism spectrum disorder to date in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association. From this research, we established a parent training program, website and extensive manual within 30 days of the study’s publication.

ADVANCE THE PROFESSION

Developing competent providers for children with autism

Trained providers are in short supply at every step of a family’s journey with autism. More trained scientists are needed to research the causes of autism and establish evidence to support new clinical care programs. With your support, Marcus Autism Center can help to fill the gaps from primary care providers who first see children, to trained professionals who make an autism diagnosis, to specialists who help children maximize their potential. Opportunities to support or name fellowships exist at many levels.

 Dr. DAVID JAQUESS

I received a brief glimpse into the better world you are building for patients at every level of development and ability. By watching those who sometimes struggled to speak, I learned how to love. I watched lives change, thanks to your efforts, and for that I will be always grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

-Matthew

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• Working in 22 states, Canada, Hong Kong & Mumbai

• 200+ experiential placements

• 100+ continuing education students

• More than169,000 hours of training during year

• Developing informatics technology to capture professional training via lectures

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