Wednesday, April 11, 2007

IAN, Interactive Autism Network

I have registered on the IAN, Internet Autism Network and encourage other parents and professionals to do the same. The Internet has proven itself a powerful tool for many purposes. Here in New Brunswick, Canada, those of us who are autism advocates have used it for autism education and advocacy. With use of the internet government has become more responsive to the perspective and interests of parents of autistic children and adults. IAN promises to bring parents of autistic children into the world of research and information about autism.

About IAN

IAN, the Interactive Autism Network, was established in January 2006 at Kennedy Krieger Institute and is funded by a grant from Autism Speaks. IAN’s goal is to facilitate research that will lead to advancements in the prevention, treatment, and cure of autism spectrum disorders. To accomplish this goal, we created the IAN Community and IAN Research.
IAN Community

The IAN Community is an online environment designed to act as an inviting library and meeting place where everyone concerned with autism spectrum disorders can learn more about autism research. Everyone can participate and benefit from the IAN Community.

Our goal is the help you:

* Understand the research process
* Keep up with the latest research findings, news, and events
* Understand the value of participating in autism research
* Influence the direction of research

We hope that the IAN Community will bring families, friends, individuals with ASDs, together with researchers, therapists, educators, and other professionals in the autism field to better understand this complex disorder through research and collaboration, and to develop effective strategies that will improve the lives of people on the spectrum.

IAN Research

IAN Research is scientific study where parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder and qualified researchers throughout the United States work together to understand autism spectrum disorders. IAN Research connects researchers to parents—the people who know the most about their child—to uncover the secrets of this complex disorder.

Without leaving home, parents provide information in a secure online setting about their child’s diagnosis, behavior, family, environment, and services received. Participating parents report on their child’s progress over time. Researchers from different institutions throughout the country will work with this information to learn about the effect and interaction of factors such as genetics, environment, and treatment on the well being of children with autism spectrum disorders.

IAN Research will match willing parents with appropriate local and national research projects. This partnership will solve one of the major difficulties that autism research projects face—recruiting enough participants. Each year, many useful and innovative studies in the United States are not completed or are significantly delayed because researchers cannot find enough children who qualify; valuable opportunities to learn about autism are lost.

Parents may benefit directly from this match because they will be able to participate in research that they would not have known about without IAN. Participation may also provide parents with opportunities to learn more about their child’s disorder and receive additional services.

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