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Current Research Studies

SARRC’s Research Department is committed to identifying best practices for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening, diagnosis, and intervention, but we cannot do it alone. We look to individuals impacted by autism and their families to participate in our current research projects. Our research program utilizes rigorous research methods and is informed by the needs, preferences, and values of the community that we serve. Note: A stipend may be provided to cover the cost of time and travel.

The Acadia Study is a 14-week study to learn about irritability associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We are enrolling children and adolescents with ASD ages 5-17 for a clinical study involving an investigational medication. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the study medication for the treatment of irritability associated with ASD, as well as the efficacy in the treatment of other symptoms associated with ASD, such as social and communication benefits and repetitive behaviors. Learn more »

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 40-70 years old and women ages 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.

To enroll, please contact the Autism Brain Aging Lab directly at (602) 606-9877 or [email protected].

Adults with ASD often experience depression and anxiety symptoms which can affect quality of life. Participants will attend daily meditation sessions using the ‘Ten Percent Happier Mobile Application’ for 10 minutes/day for 8 consecutive weeks. Our research aims are to assess the therapeutic potential of app-delivered mindfulness meditation in adults with ASD and to increase access to evidence-based resources. Compensation is $50 and free access to the Ten-Percent Happier mobile application for 1 year and 8 weeks. Learn more » Visit to fill out the interest form or contact the Autism Brain Aging Lab directly at (602) 606-9877 or [email protected].

The Aurora Study is a clinical study using an investigational medication for core symptoms of ASD. SARRC is currently enrolling individuals between ages 15-45 who have a diagnosis of ASD to participate in a clinical study that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an investigational medication to help treat social and/or communication deficits and symptoms of repetitive behaviors in adults with ASD.

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Adults with ASD often experience depression and anxiety symptoms which can affect the quality of life. Participants will attend eight (8) weekly sessions involving stress-reduction education and social support that has 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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To enroll, please contact the Autism Brain Aging Lab directly at (602) 606-9877 or [email protected].

This study will examine if a new investigational medical device called the EarliPoint™ Evaluation for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), can be used to diagnose autism in children ages 31-84 months. The device detects the presence and severity of ASD and related developmental delays.

The EarliPoint™ Evaluation for ASD (the device) tracks where children are looking as they watch videos on a screen, which shows us how typically developing children and children with autism visually explore the world differently. This study is looking at whether the device can give comparable results to current diagnostic tests performed by clinicians.

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In the IRIS research study, we are looking to find out whether an investigational drug might improve the symptoms of ASD that often make social interaction challenging. To qualify, participants must be 18 to 45 years of age; have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a relative, housemate, friend, or another study partner to assist during the study, and attend clinic visits.

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The MEASURE Study is a clinical study examining a new investigational medical device, the EarliPoint™ Assessment for autism spectrum disorder in children ages 15-74 months. SARRC is currently enrolling toddlers with and without an autism diagnosis to assess the device’s effectiveness in monitoring a child’s treatment progress.

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Learn about your child’s development and academic strengths in the NIMH Outcomes Study. In partnership with UCSD, SARRC is examining the developmental progress and benefits of early intervention in children with autism 6-10 years old. You will receive compensation for your participation.

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A snapshot of your participation includes:

  • Free comprehensive evaluation provided by a licensed clinical psychologist.
  • Questionnaires about a child’s treatment, school placement and performance, and specific areas of functioning.
  • Visits will be completed on our 16th Street Phoenix campus, following strict COVID safety policies.
  • Families will receive $100 and a written summary of test results.

SARRC is currently enrolling adults with autism ages 18 and older to participate in a study that aims to compare the outcomes of 100 autistic adults who are currently enrolled or who are graduates of the First Place Transition Academy in Phoenix. Participants will help our team improve programs, services and interventions for teens and adults with autism.

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OARS 12 Study

SARRC is currently enrolling individuals between the ages of 12-17 without autism in the OARS 12 Study being conducted by our team to evaluate the safety and effects of an investigational medication for adolescents with major depressive disorder, or MDD. Eligible patients will be randomly assigned to one of two study groups. Total participation in this study will last approximately 12 weeks, which includes up to 7 study clinic visits for health exams and tests, as well as 2 phone calls from the study doctor/staff. All study-required visits, tests, and study medication will be provided at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for study-required travel may be available.

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 a mail-in kit or at SARRC.

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