AIR-P Network Activities

April 20, 2016

The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P), led by Karen Kuhlthau, PhD, conducts research on evidence-based interventions to improve the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, with an emphasis on underserved communities. Two key goals of the AIR-P network are to provide opportunities to develop collaborations and partnerships with clinicians and researchers and to support junior investigators in developing their research efforts to improve medical care of children with autism.

The AIR-P provides opportunities for researchers from across the network to collaborate with each other as well as other CAAI sponsored programs such as LEND and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Programs. The most recent collaboration is the 2016 Pediatrics supplement on autism that was published in the February 2016 edition of the journal. This supplement reports on network research, including analyses of the AS ATN registry database of more than 7,000 children and youth with ASD. "Health Care for Children and Youth with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders" highlights a broad array of findings by network investigators, as well as other research supported by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau through its coordinated programs to improve care for children with autism and related conditions. The special issue includes practice guidelines addressing anxiety treatment and studies on access to diagnosis of ASD, creating autism-specific care plans in hospitals, evaluation of emergency department care for children with ASD, transition services for youth with ASD, and co-occurring symptoms such as depression, sleep, irritability and behavior problems. The entire 2016 AIR-P/ATN Pediatrics supplement can be accessed using the following link: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/137/Supplement_2

The network provides ongoing opportunities to support investigators through a Request for Applications (RFA) mechanism, which has supported more than 25 research projects at more than $10M throughout the past 7 years. AIR-P recently funded three new research projects to conduct secondary data analyses utilizing the existing ATN registry data: "Exploration of the development and trajectory of Daily Living Skills in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder" by Amie Duncan, PhD, from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; "Exploration of the relationship between race/ethnicity and behavioral co-morbidities and medication treatment in children with autism spectrum disorder" by Irina Zamora, PsyD, from Children's Hospital Los Angeles; and "Characterizing underserved populations participating in the ATN: evaluating disparity through demographic influences" by Jill Hollway, PhD, from The Ohio State University/Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The network is currently in the review process for research proposals submitted under RFA ATN-AIR-16-09: "Pilot to Proposal". These new projects, up to 3, will begin summer 2016. The AIR-P continues to hold its monthly webinar series titled "Advances in Autism Research & Care (AARC)" which alternates autism research and care themes, and is available to all AIR-P/ATN network members, CAAI-sponsored programs, the entire LEND and DBP Fellowship networks, various other autism and pediatric organizations, collaborators, primary care providers, as well as autism advocates. Research webinars feature AIR-P investigators, often junior investigators, presenting their work in various stages of development while care focused themes cover hot topics in the field of autism and promote idea generation for future research. If you're interested in being added to the distribution list for information on these webinars, please email Audrey Wolfe, Research Coordinator, at awolfe2@mgh.harvard.edu.

For more information on the AIR-P, please visit our public website: www.airpnetwork.org and www.asatn.org