Autism Speaks is continuing to demonstrate real leadership in the autism world with the announcement of its High Risk-High Impact (HR-HI) autism research initiative designed to support research in areas "that are under-investigated or which could benefit substantially by bringing in outside experts to accelerate progress. "
One of the first areas identified by the AS steering committee is the need to work with lower functioning, non-verbal, autistic persons who tend to be under-represented in research studies. (One Montreal researcher, judging by his published study abstracts appears to work almost exclusively with persons with Aspergers Disorder, Autistic savants and persons with High Functioning Autism.) Another interesting area of study to be addressed by the HR-HI initiative is the need to examine the role of body systems, other than the brain, in autism.
Change.org and other Neurodiversity organizations, even the IACC, promote a static concept of autism disorders. They recoil at research and inquiry that might lead to a fuller understanding of causes and potential treatments for autism disorders. Autism Speaks continues to offer a much needed, dynamic alternative. The HR-HI autism research initiative will help provide a more complete view of autism disorders including, hopefully, treatments and cures that will never be researched under the narrow, static, "it's gotta be genetic" view of autism.