National Autism Care Network Expands

A public service announcement from Autism Speaks offers information about the signs of autism. (Advertising board for Autism Speaks/TNS)

A one-of-a-kind national network of autism centers designed to transform the way care is developed and delivered to people on the spectrum and their families is growing.

Autism Care Network adds five new sites, bringing Autism Speaks-supported collaboration to 25 slots in the United States and Canada.

Launched last year, the network sites treat people with autism and work together to collect data from patients, test treatments, and then share best practices with each other and with other community providers.

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New centers include Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine; the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Marcus Center) and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“We are delighted to have such an impressive group of medical centers joining the network. Their expertise and leadership will accelerate our vision of a world where all people with autism spectrum disorders can achieve optimal health and quality of life,” said Donna Murray, Vice President of Clinical Programs at Autism Speaks.

The Autism Care Network is an expanded version of what used to be called the Autism Treatment Network. With the collaboration’s reintroduction last year, Autism Speaks said the focus has shifted from being primarily clinical to one where patient experiences drive research.

More than 40,000 patients are served each year through the network, which provides “autism care for the whole person and the whole family,” Autism Speaks said.

Integration of the new sites should be complete by the end of this month, the group said.

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