The National Institutes of Health distributed major funding for autism research to universities across the country that are conducting research to increase knowledge and understanding of how autism develops and interventions.
Nine grants totaling nearly $100 million will be awarded as part of the Autism Centers of Excellence Program, which supports large scale multidisciplinary research.
â€śAutism spectrum disorder has myriad environmental, genetic, neurological and behavioral components,â€ť said Diana Bianchi, director of the NIHâ€™s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,. â€śThese awards will allow us to understand how autism differs in girls versus boys, to develop earlier methods of screening and to improve treatments based on specific symptoms.â€ť
Priorities for funding include projects that evaluate universal autism screening in toddlers, test parent coaching as intervention, examine early signs of autism in brains of newborns and fetuses, and address the transition to adult years.