Since 1965, the Autism Society has been a leader in serving people with autism, their families and the professionals who serve them. While we are not a research organization, we interpret research for our constituents and contribute to major research initiatives. We are an honest broker of information about current studies and issue bulletins to our constituents to communicate and explain key new research findings. Today, 60 individuals will be diagnosed with autism, and their families have no clear path to treat the symptoms of this complex condition. For this reason, the Autism Society wants to keep our constituents fully informed of research developments as they arise.
The Autism Society currently sponsors two initiatives in the research arena. The Environmental Health Initiative reviews and interprets current research findings in environmental exposures on brain development and on general public health. It brings speakers and research developments to our constituents and joins the Autism Society in coalition with other health, environmental justice and workers' rights organizations to empower policy and advocacy actions for toxic chemical reform. The project includes data collection research on environmental triggers of autism, as well as environmental factors that exacerbate health conditions.
The second initiative is a comprehensive, coordinated Treatment Guided Research Initiative to learn more about autism through the ways people respond to treatments. By collecting data on treatments and analyzing what has been effective in diet, medical treatments, educational, behavioral and therapeutic interventions, we may be able to offer practical treatment advice that will help in the present. This information is sorely needed now, for families dealing with autism daily, before the significant work on defining the origins of autism is complete.