Current Research Studies

Every study SARRC conducts is valuable to the autism community, but we cannot do it alone. We look to families of individuals impacted by autism to participate in our current research projects. Our research program brings together scientists, research methods, and stakeholders to gain a better understanding of possible causes of autism, identify better treatments, and educate others about how to improve the quality of life for those impacted by ASD and their families. 


The Impact of COVID-19 Societal Changes on Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Families

SARRC and ASU are conducting a research study to better understand how societal changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Knowledge gained from this study will help researchers and practitioners to better understand the needs of individuals with ASD and their families during and after the evolving pandemic and in future emergency situations.

Who can participate?

We are currently recruiting parents of children with an autism diagnosis (ages 3-18) and adults with autism (18+) to help us complete this important study.

What does participation involve?

To participate in this study, you must live in Arizona, read and write fluent English, and have access to the internet to complete online surveys. 

Participants will be asked to complete online questionnaires about autism-related services, daily activities, functioning, and well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaires take about 30-60 minutes to complete, and we will ask participants to complete these questionnaires up to four times (every 4 months for 1 year).

The entire study may be completed from home. At each time point, participants who complete the survey will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.

Enroll online

  • I am a parent of a child with autism ages 3-18 interested in participating: enroll here »
  • I am an adult with autism interested in participating: enroll here »

Aging & Autism Study

In partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI), SARRC is studying the aging process of individuals with ASD. SARRC is recruiting participants with a diagnosis of ASD and without ASD including men and women ages 26-70 and 18-70 years old. Participants are asked to complete an evaluation at SARRC and then undergo an FMRI scan at BNI. During the scan, participants will complete tasks related to memory and thinking. 

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Anchor Study (Ages 5-17)

We are currently looking for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are between 5 and 17 years old to participate in the Anchor study. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of an investigational medication in decreasing symptoms of irritability in children and adolescents with ASD. After the screening visit, participation involves 3 in-office visits and 4 online telemedicine visits over the course of 8 weeks. 

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Autism and Mindfulness Intervention 

Adults with ASD often experience depression and anxiety symptoms which can affect quality of life. Participants will attend 8 weekly sessions involving stress-reduction education and social support that have reduced depression in adults with ASD. Our research aims to understand brain functioning before and after stress-reduction classes to help us better understand how symptom improvements relate to brain functioning in adults with ASD. This study is open to all adults, ages 18 and older, with autism. 

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LAPS Study (Long-term Antipsychotic Pediatric Safety)

Is your child taking Risperdal or Abilify? Would you like your child to be closely monitored for side effects of these medicines? If so, the LAPS study might be a good fit for your family! SARRC is working with The Pediatric Trials Network (PTN), to find the safest and most effective doses of commonly used medicines for infants and children. Children aren’t just little adults. Their bodies are growing and changing, meaning that they process medicines differently than adults do. 

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Janssen Study

The Janssen Study is investigating the efficacy of an investigational medication targeting the most common behavioral symptoms of autism. We are enrolling adolescents and young adults with ASD ages 13 through 35 to participate. Participants must have a study partner (e.g. parent, caregiver, significant other) available to attend all appointments. 

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SPARK for Autism

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative is offering SPARK—an online, long-term study of genetics and autism. SPARK will collect and analyze genetic samples (saliva) from all participants to help autism researchers learn about genetic and non-genetic causes of autism. SPARK is open to all individuals with a professional diagnosis of autism, as well as their parents. Participation can take place either in your home via mail-in kit or at SARRC.

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