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Volunteer registry helps support families with autism | Families

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Volunteer registry helps support families with autism
Families
Volunteer registry helps support families with autism

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas families affected by autism have their first chance to participate in a volunteer registry that will track how many people in the state have autism spectrum disorders with the debut of a new website, ArkansasAutismAlliance.org. Families will also find a host of autism resources compiled on the site, which is a collaboration between Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH), the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

“This website will help families understand what’s happening with autism in Arkansas,” said Jill James, PhD, director of the Autism Metabolic Genomics Laboratory at ACHRI, a professor of Pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine, and an autism researcher who developed the site. “Until now, there has not been a comprehensive website where families could go to find the resources and services that are available in Arkansas, the latest on credible research and the autism events that affect us here in the state.”

At ArkansasAutismAlliance.org, families can find links to local organizations, support groups, opportunities to participate in research, bios of Arkansas autism specialists and more.

The registry component will help researchers at the collaborating institutions find out more about how many people in Arkansas have autism spectrum disorders and where they live.

“Right now, we don’t even know how many families in Arkansas are affected by autism,” Dr. James said. “The registry could be a huge resource for helping us allocate resources to communities and understand where the needs exist.”

Families are encouraged to explore ArkansasAutismAlliance.org and volunteer their information in the registry. The info will be maintained in a database, and families can agree to be contacted if they wish to participate in surveillance activities and research projects.

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