McMaster University and McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is participating in a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) – funded project on autism and neurodevelopment disorders. Led by the University of California, San Francisco, and called “Development of a standardized measure of social-communication abilities for children with neurodevelopmental disorders,” the project aims to improve our ability to measure ‘change over time’ in children and youth with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Stelios Georgiades ASD
Dr. Stelios Georgiades

Dr. Stelios Georgiades, an Offord Centre for Child Studies core member and the founder/co-director of McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) is a co-investigator on this multinational study. With funding from McMaster University and McMaster Children’s Hospital, Dr. Georgiades and his team are also working on the Pediatric Autism Research Collaborative (PARC) Project, which will be the vehicle for piloting and validating the new assessment measure in the clinic.

“Most of the measures we use to document progress in children with autism were simply not designed to capture change; they were designed for diagnostic purposes, to distinguish children with autism from those without autism,” says Dr. Stelios Georgiades. “If we want to better understand how children respond to specific interventions and how they develop over time, we need measures that are ‘sensitive to change’.”

Dr. Georgiades continues: “This is the main idea of this NIH-funded project. Our team is excited to be working with some of the top autism researchers in the US; we all share the common vision of advancing autism care through meaningful research.”

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