Promoting ASD ResearchThis section of our website highlights current research initiatives relating to ASDs with an emphasis on Canadian activities.
Autism Society Canada (ASC) actively promotes Autism Spectrum Disorder as a research priority in Canada, primarily through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). ASC supports the need for more and better research into:
- Development of better outcomes for people with ASDs
- Development, regulation and dysfunction of body systems of people with ASDs
- Identification of risk factors for ASDs
- Design of improved life-span health services, delivery models and treatment best practices
- Prevalence of ASDs
Autism Society Canada InitiativesASC's White Paper
In October 2002, ASC hosted the first Canadian Autism Research Workshop held in Toronto, with lead sponsors: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) in the U.S., (also sponsored by the Autism Tissues Program and Maritime Life). The White Paper: Canadian Autism Research Agenda and Canadian Autism Strategy (March 2004) grew out of work accomplished at this meeting where research experts from across North America set the following research priorities to improve outcomes for people with ASD:
- Improve knowledge dissemination
- More research on causal factors
- Attention to individual manifestations of autism
- Research and funding for effective evidence-based treatments
- Essential supports for people with ASD and their families
- More surveillance and epidemiological studies to determine actual incidence and possible geographic 'pockets' of ASD
Canadian Autism Research and Strategy Agendas released in White Paper from Autism Society Canada [PDF].
ASC's White Paper:
Canadian Autism Research Agenda and Canadian Autism Strategy: White Paper [PDF].
The amount of research funding available to [Canadian] scientists through Canada’s three federal granting agencies is nowhere near the relative proportion of what is available in the United States or in the United Kingdom [ 26, 27]. Since 2000, Canada has spent $16 million to fund research on Autism Spectrum Disorders. The United States intends to spend $200 million in one year to set up centres of excellence. We are far behind these other countries in the resources we are committing to test out the exciting ideas Canadian scientists have. We must invest in research training programs to ensure that we keep pace with scientific developments in the years to come.
-Dr. Peter Szatmari, Director of the Offord Centre for Child Studies and Founding Member of the Canadian Autism Intervention Research Network (CAIRN) in a Brief to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, November 22, 2006