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Read more about: SPARK families and advocates

Get the latest autism updates from SPARK, including information about genes and ASD research, webinars, and personal stories from our community.

Our ‘genes’ page provides short, easy-to-understand descriptions of genes linked to autism. Under ‘research’, you’ll find the latest updates from SPARK and other autism studies. In our ‘stories’ section, families, scientists and others share their journeys. In our monthly webinars, speakers from the autism community provide useful information for families and people with autism. All are welcome–invitation links are issued in our monthly newsletter. If you have suggestions for webinar topics, please email us at webinars@sparkforautism.org.

A Father’s Tale

John Smigle says that participating in typical activities, like boy scouts and baseball, has helped his son Christopher, who has autism, develop social skills.

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Autism Heroes: Ann Palmer

Over the last 20 years, Ann Palmer has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of families get the autism services and support that they need. Palmer has an adult son with autism. She began working in the field when her son, now 33, was about 9 years old.

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Autism Heroes: Sarah Easterling

Sarah Easterling teaches English and science to fourth-graders at Palmer Elementary School in Missouri City, Texas. At Palmer, children with special needs, including autism and dyslexia, join mainstream classes.

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Autism Heroes: Dr. Patricia Manning

Patty Manning, a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, sometimes sees patients in unusual places—in a car seat, walking around the hospital’s library, or simply in the clinic hallway. As a specialist treating children with autism spectrum disorders, she follows her patients’ needs and moods on that particular day.

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Partnering for Autism

Our fifth webinar, moderated by Alison Singer, MBA, features Ann Palmer of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and Patricia Manning, M.D. of the Kelly O’Leary Center. In this webinar, our speakers discuss different approaches to partnering in the autism community. Each speaker brings a different perspective about how developing relationships from within the community enhance program outcomes. This webinar is 45 minutes long.

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Meet Amy Gravino

Amy Gravino was recently asked to take part in the SPARK online research partnership, and was both excited and apprehensive to hear about the study’s purpose and intended goals.

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Meet Sunghee Park

Sunghee Park and her family have a packed schedule. They participated in SPARK because online participation is perfect for her and her son.

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