ARI’s Accomplishments in 2017
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Advancing an ambitious research agenda while providing the latest science-based information for people of all ages on the spectrum is our focus at the ARI. In 2017 we did so through our annual think tank, in-person and online educational events and courses, and free webinars, and by funding the studies that hold the most promise for making a difference in the lives of people with autism. While the causes of ASD remain unclear, recent scientific advances challenge the traditional view of autism as an untreatable disease—as one that is genetically hardwired. These developments support the position that ARI has always maintained: autism is treatable. ARI continues to pioneer research, outreach, and cooperative efforts with other organizations worldwide.


RESEARCH

  • ARI awarded more than $200,000 in grants to scientists whose work will have a direct impact on the lives  of those on the autism spectrum. The funds supported research in immune, gastrointestinal, metabolic, neurologic, and sensory issues.
  • We continue to publish our quarterly science newsletter, Autism Research Review International  (ARRI), summarizing current medical, sensory, and educational research.
  • We sponsored a major think tank, attended by researchers  and medical clinicians. In order to make progress in the field, ARI knows it is critical for scientists and experienced  clinicians to meet and discuss issues related to treatment.
  • ARI helps fund two tissue banks, including a whole-body tissue bank for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the University of Maryland and  a gastrointestinal tissue bank at the Digestive Function Laboratory Repository at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
  • We support an active dialogue among researchers and clinicians in a private internet discussion group limited to those with advanced science degrees and extensive autism experience.
  • We co-sponsored the first think tank in North America on aging in autism. Numerous topics were discussed including medical co-morbidities, sensory and cognitive  abilities, and the need for longitudinal studies.

CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION

  • ARI offers, in joint providership with the Cleveland  Clinic, complimentary AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™  to physicians and the general public. This year we premiered talks on anxiety and immunology. Connecting physicians to improved standards of care is crucial to amplifying understanding of the medical nature of the disorder.

ONLINE LEARNING

  • Our YouTube channel offers free access to experts with up-to-date webcasts on medical support and educational videos, social stories, and selected talks from past conferences.  Users have tuned in for more than 300,000 viewings at bit.ly/autism_education.
  • ARI hosts live webinars featuring top researchers and treatment professionals in partnership with The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development. The topics include research updates, diet, nutrition, ABA, assessment, educational therapies, adult issues, and much more. Participants can receive a free Certificate of Attendance for most webinars. Visit our webinar portal at www.ariconference.com.

OUTREACH IN THE U.S. 

  • ARI offers a hotline for parents and professionals, who can reach a live person for information and support.
  • ARI publishes a bimonthly e-newsletter, Clinical Research in Autism, for obstetricians, pediatricians, and nurses who want to keep up to date with research relevant to their practice.
  • ARI moderates several internet discussion groups for parents.

INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH

  • ARI is an NGO (non-governmental organization) of the United Nations.
  • For the fifth straight year, we co-sponsored a major international conference in Moscow.
  • ARI continues to translate many of our key articles, as well as our Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC),  into different languages—the ATEC is now available in  20 languages online. On average, more than 150 users per day complete ARI’s ATEC.
 
Special thanks to Teamsters Local 25 in Boston, Massachusetts and For Autistic Kids Foundation for their support in 2017.

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