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UVA Children’s Hospital expanding autism research

(NBC29)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Children’s Hospital is joining other medical centers across the nation to enhance autism research. It’s now part of the National Autism Care Network funded by Autism Speaks.

UVA Children’s Hospital Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Richard Stevenson says the initial focus of this group is to research behaviors that are common in children with autism to improve the quality of life for them and their families.

“We collect basic information and use that information, share that information, and learn from that information, and specifically learn how we can improve the care of children with autism,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson says joining the Autism Care Network is another step to better understand autism-spectrum disorder.

“This network, which is funded by Autism Speaks, I think brings to light the voice of families,” Stevenson sad. “The family voice is a part of the data collection, a part of thinking about what to study next, and it really helps drive the research and the quality improvement in a direction that families want and need.”

Stevenson says a lot of this research was made possible thanks to clinical lead, Dr. Kathryn Fraizer, Dr. Elizabeth White, and clinical research coordinator Jodi Darring.

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