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Summary of Advances

In Autism Research



The Summary of Advances in Autism Research provides short, plain language summaries of the top 20 advances in autism biomedical and services research selected by members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). Articles in the Summary of Advances are grouped according to the topics represented by the seven Questions of the 2016-2017 IACC Strategic Plan for ASD (screening & diagnosis, biology, genetic & environmental factors, interventions, services & supports, lifespan, research infrastructure & prevalence). In addition, for the first time, the IACC has released an easy-read version that summarizes the full publication in a briefer, more accessible format


Each year, the IACC releases a list of scientific advances that represent significant progress in the field. The 2020 Summary of Advances provides short, plain language summaries of the top research breakthroughs selected by the IACC from a pool of research articles nominated by the members. Read more.

Articles Selected for the 2020 Summary of Advances

1) Primary Care Autism Screening and Later Autism Diagnosis. 2) Timing of the Diagnosis of Autism in African American Children. 3) Validation of the Developmental Check-In Tool for Low-Literacy Autism Screening. All articles.

Screening and Diagnosis

Primary Care Autism Screening and Later Autism Diagnosis. Most children in the U.S. are screened for autism, but disparities persist and implementation of screening across medical practices remains inconsistent. Read more.


Sleep Onset Problems and Subcortical Development in Infants Later Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Infants who develop autism are more likely to have sleep challenges in the first year of life and show differences in brain development. Read more.

Genetic and Environmental Factors

Inherited Risk for Autism Through Maternal and Paternal Lineage. Patterns of inheritance through the female and male parents of people with autism do not support the hypothesis of a "female protective effect." Read more.


A Randomized Controlled Trial of Functional Communication Training via Telehealth for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parents of children with autism can be effectively trained with telehealth support to increase functional communication and reduce challenging behaviors. Read more.

Services and Supports

Racial and ethnic disparities in benefits eligibility and spending among adults on the autism spectrum: A cohort study using the Medicare Medicaid Linked Enrollees Analytic Data Source. Disparities in dual eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare benefits across race and ethnicity in autistic adults contribute to disparities in access to services. Read more.


Health Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minorities with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autistic individuals who belong to sexual and gender minority groups report higher rates of unmet health care needs and negative experiences with providers. Read more.

Research Infrastructure and Prevalence

National and State Estimates of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. An estimated 1 in 45 adults in the United States have autism, indicating a critical need for diagnostic tools and services for adults. Read more.

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