During the first week of class, the teens' eyes were downcast, their responses were mumbled and eye contact was almost nonexistent. By Week 12, though, these same kids were talkative, responsive and engaged. That's the result of a special class designed at UCLA to help teens with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learn to interact appropriately with their peers. ASD includes a range of pervasive developmental disorders characterized by problems with communication and socialization; it's estimated that one in 150 children born in the United States has some form of ASD.
The Center was established in 2003 as one of eight national centers in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research initiative, Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART). In 2007, the Center was awarded two NIH Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) grants - as one of six national ACE Centers and as the lead research site in one of five national ACE Network projects. In 2012, CART was the only ACE Center in the nation to get renewed funding to 2017, and also added a new ACE Network project.
The UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART), a National Institutes of Health Autism Center of Excellence (ACE), plays a leading role — locally, nationally and internationally — in developing an improved understanding of the biological and psychosocial basis of autism. Combining our excellence in research, education and assessment, the Center continues to develop and disseminate new and more effective treatments for autism and autism spectrum disorders.
Utilizing a strong interdisciplinary approach in genetics, neurobiology, psychology, brain imaging and psychiatry, the Center’s main research aim is to understand the origins of the social, communicative, and language deficits demonstrated by individuals with autism and related disorders. CART is also proud of its outreach to families and community practitioners, building strong partnerships with members of the autism community.
Visit www.semel.ucla.edu/autism/research if interested in participating in our research studies or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org If you need information about the Autism Evaluation Clinic, please call 310-794-4008.
UCLA researchers have discovered that an FDA-approved drug reverses the brain dysfunction inflicted by a genetic disease known as tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC.
Music has a universal ability to tap into our deepest emotions. Unfortunately, for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), understanding emotions is a very difficult task. Can music help them?
Thanks to funding from the GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program, researchers at UCLA are about to find out.
Book signing and discussion by Barbara Firestone, president of The Help Group, a nonprofit organization that serves children with autistic spectrum disorders.