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Your ATN@Work: Understanding the ‘stress’ in GI distress - Part 2

October 27, 2015

Researcher Brad Ferguson delves deeper into the role that stress plays in the GI problems so common among kids with autism

Researcher Brad Ferguson delves deeper into the role that stress plays in the GI problems so common among kids with autism

Post by psychologist and neuroscientist Brad Ferguson, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia. The center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

I’m pleased to have this opportunity to update the Autism Speaks community on the progress of our investigations into the role that stress plays in the gastrointestinal issues that are so common among children and teens who...

Your ATN@Work: Enhancing care by involving families in research

October 20, 2015

It’s a win-win situation when families participate in clinical studies through the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

It’s a win-win situation when families participate in clinical studies through the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network


By Alicia Curran (left) and Cortaiga Gant. Ms. Curran is the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) coordinator at the University of Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Ms. Gant is the center’s senior research lab technician. The Thompson Center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks ATN.

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Autism and mealtime: A therapist’s top ten tips for success

October 16, 2015

An Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network therapist shares her strategies for improving nutrition and mealtime behavior

An Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network therapist shares her strategies for improving nutrition and mealtime behavior 


This week’s “Food for Thought” post is by occupational therapist Moira Pena, of Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital is one of 14 centers in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of...

Your ATN@Work: A health care model that embraces the whole family

October 13, 2015

A personal message from the senior director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

A personal message from the senior director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network 


By Donna Murray, senior director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

As senior director of the Autism Speaks ATN, I see firsthand how the network is improving the medical care and services provided to children and families affected by autism. This involves directly working with families and expanding the ability of our medical system to provide whole-person care for patients affected by autism and its many...

Advancing autism-friendly dental care, transition to adulthood & more

October 6, 2015

The Autism Speaks ATN is tackling new priorities in its role as the federally funded Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health

By Daniel Coury, medical director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Dr. Coury is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, - one of 14 ATN centers across the United States and Canada.

The primary mission of the Autism Speaks ATN is to improve health care for all individuals with autism. While our work is autism focused, our clinicians and researchers look at the health of our patients from a much broader perspective. We try to consider all...

Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network expands telehealth outreach

September 29, 2015

ECHO Autism project will provide autism training to doctors across North America and overseas

ECHO Autism project will provide autism training to doctors across North America and overseas

New funding for the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) will expand ECHO® Autism, a successful telehealth program launched in March of this year. The funding comes from the US Human Resources and Services Administration.

ECHO stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes. The approach uses multi-site videoconferencing to pair specialists at major medical centers with community healthcare providers to spread specialist knowledge and...

Your ATN@Work: Employing adults with autism

September 22, 2015

Having an adult with autism on staff is an inspiring learning experience for the staff of this California ATN center

Having an adult with autism on staff is an inspiring learning experience for the staff of this California ATN center

By Kelly McKinnon-Bermingham, director of behavior intervention, at the University of California, Irvine’s Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Santa Ana, California. The center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

It made sense for us to employ adults with autism. As we help our families transition their teens from pediatric to adult health care, we often see the...

Q&A with author of new study on autism and gluten/casein-free diet

September 18, 2015

We follow-up on the first controlled trial testing whether this popular diet can ease behavioral and GI symptoms in kids with autism

We follow-up on the first controlled trial testing whether this popular diet can ease behavioral and GI symptoms in kids with autism

Earlier this week, we reported on the findings of the first carefully controlled study of how a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet might benefit children who have autism. This small study found no improvement in behavioral or bowel symptoms.

Read the news story here.

We followed up with study senior author Susan Hyman...

Your ATN@Work: Transitioning teens with autism to adult care

September 15, 2015

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Pittsburgh has a unique program for fostering the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Pittsburgh has a unique program for fostering the transition from pediatric to adult health care

By Jessica Kettel, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Dr. Kettel is also the Pittsburgh ATN center’s co-principal investigator.  

As many readers of this blog column know well, autism can add to the challenges of being a teenager – as well as those of parenting a teenager. On top of puberty’s social and physical changes, you and your teen are likely...

Your ATN@Work: Meet some of the parents who advise and guide us

September 8, 2015

The Family Advisory Committee of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network plays a crucial role in guiding the ATN’s mission

The Family Advisory Committee of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network plays a crucial role in guiding the ATN’s mission and its delivery of "whole-person" healthcare to children with autism

By Gaby Hurtado, project manager for the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

As the project manager for the Autism Speaks ATN, I’ve been fortunate to work with the amazing group of 28 parent leaders who make up our Family Advisory Committee.

As the “customers” of our network, our families...

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