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 Advances in Autism Research & Care: The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health

By Audrey Wolfe, MPH
Clinical Research Coordinator, Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health

Feature 4.jpgThe Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) conducts research on evidence-based interventions to improve the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The network also works to disseminate main findings to parent and professional communities. Network activities include developing evidence-based guidelines and tools; disseminating critical information on network research findings, guidelines developed, and tools to health professionals and the public; and developing and mentoring new investigators in the field of ASD and other developmental disabilities. The AIR-P has been highly productive in all of these areas.

As part of network activities, the AIR-P holds a monthly webinar series titled "Advances in Autism Research & Care" (AARC) that alternates autism research and care themes, and is available to all ATN/AIR-P network members, CAAI-sponsored programs, the entire LEND and DBP Fellowship networks, various other autism and pediatric organizations, collaborators, primary care providers, as well as autism advocates. Research webinars feature current AIR-P research study investigators, while care focused themes cover hot topics in the field of autism, and promote idea generation for future research.

During the network's March AARC webinar, Julie Lounds Taylor, PhD, presented her research on the transition to adulthood and adult outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Transition is an important topic that has been identified by the network Family Advisory Committee (FAC) as a priority area. Dr. Taylor focused on understanding the changes that are taking place for youth and adults during this time, as well as identifying those individuals who may be at higher risk. Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Special Education at Vanderbilt University, and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator. Her research focuses on how the transition to adulthood impacts individuals with ASD and their families. Patience White, MD and Alice Kuo, MD, PhD also were discussants on the webinar. Dr. White is the co-director of Got Transition: The Center for Health Care Transition and Improvement and Dr. Kuo is the principal investigator of the MCHB Health Care Transitions Research Network for Youth and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The April AARC webinar will be held on Thursday, Apr. 23 from 3-4 p.m. EST and will feature Amy Kratchman and Janet Seide, two members of the network Family Advisory Committee, presenting on the importance of family engagement in research and improvement activities.

All AARC webinars are recorded and available to the public. Please visit our YouTube site to view webinar recordings: www.youtube.com/asatnairpnetwork.

For registration links to these webinars and more information on the AIR-P, please visit our website: www.airpnetwork.org.