Three important meetings of researchers took place this week. First, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, or IACC, met for the first time in over a year to discuss the coordination of private and federal efforts in autism research and advocacy. Also, the Autism Sisters Project science committee met to figure out how they are going to find the female protective factor in autism, and what else the study can do when, and if, it is found. Finally, a group of researchers who study autism in high risk families, before a formal diagnosis can be made, met to understand how the brains of people with autism are connected. They also are working on new instruments to better diagnose both males and females with ASD. Finally, in a press release from Tuesday, the NIH announced a partnership that will substantially improve autism research.
A special podcast this week on the Autism Sisters Project, in partnership with Icahn School of Medicine. I talk about how the idea came about, what ASF is doing to help find out what sisters can contribute to the science of autism, and why sisters are in a unique position to do so. Please read Lauren Singer’s special letter to the editor to Molecular Autism about being an undiagnosed sister here: http://www.molecularautism.com/content/pdf/s13229-015-0046-8.pdf