Nearly $3.4 million in federal support is headed to the Institute for Autism Research. The four-year, research grant from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences is the largest ever received by Canisius.

The IAR will use the federal grant to evaluate the effectiveness of its comprehensive school-based intervention program, schoolMAX, for elementary school children diagnosed with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. The research project will take place in elementary schools throughout Western New York and involve 96 elementary students (grades 1-5), their teachers and parents, over the course of four years. The grant will also fund a total of 25 undergraduate and graduate research assistants each year.

The IAR is also the recipient of a $359,000 grant from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation. The grant will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of summerMAX in a community setting, and to create a training protocol so that the program may be made available to community providers nationwide. The grant also supports the adaptation and evaluation of summerMAX in an outpatient afterschool program, so that families and community providers have options to help children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders in both summer and afterschool settings. Each year the grant funds between nine and 29 undergraduate and graduate research assistants.