Seattle Children’s Autism Center invites you to join SPARK, a large autism research study!
SPARK seeks to speed up research and improve our understanding of autism. This includes learning what causes autism and how best to treat it. Seattle Children’s and 32 of the nation’s leading medical schools and autism research centers are part of this effort.
What we do
SPARK researchers study genes and information collected from thousands of people with autism and, if possible, their parents. We hope you will join us!
If you’d like to learn more, please complete our virtual SPARK study interest card: SPARK Interest Survey
To join SPARK, please visit: www.SPARKforAutism.org/UW
Welcome to our series on research. We continue with information about the WONDER study
Welcome to our series on research. We continue with information about the WONDER study Seattle Children’s researchers want to better understand social brain development in infants during the first three years of life. Drs. Fred Shic and Sara Jane Webb, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, are the co-investigators of this study. Read full post »
This blog will be our first in a series regarding Research. We welcome guest author Soo Jeong-Kim, MD Medical Director of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Dr. Kim explains why we should care about research, and what to consider before participating. In our next blog, we will detail a current research opportunity available in the area.
Soo Jeong-Kim, MD Medical Director of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center
We know a great deal more about autism than our previous generation did. For example, we know autism is not caused by poor parenting. We know some interventions are safer and more effective than others. We know these because of research. Many important questions are being asked by families and doctors and researchers are trying to answer these questions by gathering evidence, making hypothesis, and systematically investigating to support or reject the hypotheses.
While children and families participating in research studies may not receive direct benefit from the study, research will help us to understand better about what’s going on in our children with autism and what can be done to help them, so that we do not repeat the past, such as blaming parenting for autism or trial of therapies or medications that are proven to be ineffective or even harmful.
What should we consider before participating in research?
Research cannot be done without participation of individuals with autism and their families. Researchers may not able to answer research questions when they do not have enough participants. Most research studies require dozens and sometimes several hundreds of participants to be able to answer questions.
When you decide to contribute to the research, you should be informed:
1. You may not receive direct benefit from the participating in the study. It’s because the study is just to learn more about what is going on with our children with autism (e.g., how much physical activities your child is doing per typical day) or it’s because your child is participating in a clinical trial study that requires half of participants to be randomly assigned for the “placebo” group. While your child or family may not receive direct benefit, your participation will result in better understanding and may also potentially lead to a new treatment intervention (e.g., therapy or medication).
2. Sometimes it takes years before researchers to be able to answer research question. It is not uncommon researchers to repeat the studies to make sure the results from the original study were not by chance. It is known that even with the best evidence, it may take years to develop new treatment intervention.
3. Participation in research studies should be voluntary and after weighing risk and benefit ratio carefully.
Ten years ago the Seattle Children’s Autism Center was no more real than a dream.
But in the time since that dream has become a reality, the Center has served over 13,000 unique individuals through over 150,000 patient visits. How is that for transformation? Read full post »