The discoveries made from our research depends upon the participation of families like yours.

Your child may be eligible to participate in one of our research projects. Your family's involvement will help advance the effort to understand, diagnose, and treat autism. Participating families will gain valuable insight into their child’s cognitive, verbal, and social development. Additionally, families receive a comprehensive report based on the standard measures used so that our Center can compare your child to his/her peers of the same age.

Parents concerned about their infant or toddler’s development

Your child may be eligible to participate in one of our research projects. Benefits to children and their families vary by study and include comprehensive assessments that provide information about your child’s development as well as research-based treatment.

Below is an outline of what you can expect by participating. There are 2 major components to our study program:

  1. Free, comprehensive developmental evaluations conducted by a PhD level clinical psychologist preformed 9 months apart. Each evaluation appointment lasts approximately 3.5-4 hours in duration. At the conclusion of testing, the clinical psychologist will review the results with you and write a report outlining your child’s performance when needed. In this manner, you will be able to track your child’s progress in multiple realms of development.
  2. A blood draw is required to evaluate the genetic component of child development. Parents will be asked to participate in blood draw as well.

More information about our studies:

  • We are currently conducting fMRI studies on toddlers between 12-36 months. If you are interested in participating, please contact the fMRI study coordinator at 858-534-6912. 
  • If you are interested in scheduling an evaluation for your 12-36 month old toddler, please call either:
  • For general inquiries, please use this form
  • Pediatrician Referral Form

Parents of typically developing infants and toddlers

You and your child can provide valuable information in the effort to understand and treat autism. In exchange for participation, families receive a comprehensive assessment of their child’s cognitive, verbal, and social development. Please contact us at 858-534-6913 for more details.

Parents of children ages 3+ 

The majority of our research studies are focused on the 12-36 month age period. If you or your child has a professional diagnosis of autism, you are eligible to participate in the SPARK research study!

Help Speed Up Autism Research: Join SPARK today!

What is SPARK?
Our center is currently a part of a large autism research study called SPARK that includes both biological parents and child diagnosed with ASD. SPARK seeks to speed up autism research and improve our understanding of autism. This includes learning what causes autism and how best to treat it. Our goal is to build a community of 50,000 individuals with autism and their biological family members. The entire autism community is encouraged to participate, including adults and children diagnosed with autism, as well as their biological parents and siblings. There is NO cost to take part in SPARK. The research is sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

Our Goal:
SPARK seeks to speed up research and improve our understanding of autism. This includes learning what causes autism and how best to treat it. UCSD Autism Center of Excellence and over 20 of the nation's leading medical schools and autism research centers are part of this effort. 

What We Do:
SPARK researchers study genes and information collected from thousands of people with autism and, if possible, their parents. We hope you will join us! 

How to Join:

  1. Sign-up online: here. It only takes 20 minutes. 
  2. Complete a few questionnaires online. 
  3. Provide a saliva sample. We will send a saliva collection kit to your home. When you are done, simply mail it back to us for free. 
    *If you are prompted with the question: Were you referred by a university, hospital, or registry? Please select UCSD/SARRC. 
If you have any questions, please contact (858) 534-6906. 

Additional Resources for Parents:

Some additional resources that may provide further assistance are listed below:

Parents of children diagnosed with autism or other developmental delays

If your child has a previous diagnosis of autism or developmental delay, he or she may be eligible to participate in one of our studies. Participation in our research study provides information about your child’s current functioning and subsequent progress.

Please contact us at 858-534-6913 for more details.