Overcoming Autism

August 6, 2018

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BUFFALO, NY - Researchers at the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius received a substantial endorsement from the U.S. Department of Education this summer when the federal agency awarded it an $880,431 grant.  The grant fully funds a three-year study of the long-term beneficial impacts from an innovative school intervention for high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder (HFASD), developed by the IAR.

For more than a decade, IAR researchers have effectively treated the clinical impairments and symptoms of children with HFASD in the institute’s comprehensive summer program (summerMAX).  In an effort to more effectively treat these children in school settings, the research team adapted its summer program into a school-based intervention (schoolMAX), which they tested in an earlier, large-scale randomized trial, also funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Results from this study found that students with HFASD who received schoolMAX demonstrated significantly better social understanding and social skills and fewer ASD symptoms following treatment, compared to students with HFASD who received typical educational programming. 

This latest grant will enable researchers to examine the long-term impacts of the schoolMAX treatment.