SPARK aims to Speed Up Research and Advance our Understanding of Autism

SPARK stands for “Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge” and the mission of this study is simple; it is to speed up research and advance our understanding of autism to help improve lives. Launched in 2016, SPARK is the largest autism research study of its kind with 17 of the nation’s leading medical schools and autism research centers to help recruit individuals and families affected by autism. UCLA CART, under Dr. Amanda Gulsrud, has been with SPARK for the past 6 years being leaders in advancing the science of autism. You can join today by visiting: Check out updates from SPARK Central and learn more about autism:

Autism, Meltdowns, and the Struggle to Manage Emotions

Anyone can have trouble managing their emotions, but people with autism are more likely to struggle with it. Researchers and psychologists call this “emotion dysregulation.” Emotion dysregulation is not a diagnosis, nor does everyone with autism have it. But for those that do, problems with managing emotions can dramatically affect their lives, regardless of where they fall along the wide spectrum of autism. Read the full article on SPARK’s website.

Building a Community, for Autism

Following her son’s autism diagnosis, Karen Zarsadiaz-Ige wanted to help raise awareness in her own community. She created the Sirens of Silence program for the fire department, which also includes lifeguards who protect beachgoers along the county’s coast. Sirens of Silence trains first responders on autism and other conditions, and sponsors community events for people on the spectrum. Now, newly enrolled in SPARK, Karen and her husband Phillip hope that SPARK will find other ways to help educate people about, “the different shades of autism.” Learn more about their autism experience.