An Integrated Network





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A Screening Research Roadmap

ASD Roadmap

An integrated network

De-constructing the network of services, training, policy, and advocacy gives us a renewed appreciation of the unique role research can play in improving outcomes


January 28, 2019


Many different researchers, practitioners, and leaders aspire to achieve big outcomes.  In the case of ASD identification, for example, we strive to accurately diagnose ASD as quickly as possible, regardless of a child's background. In fact, the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) - the principle body for designing ASD research strategy in the US - has consistently included early detection as the first goal of each of its recent strategic plans, beginning more than 10 years ago.  And many other goals within the IACC's strategic plan center on the goal of early detection, either as an important goal of research on causes and risk factors, or as an assumption of research promoting the benefits of early intervention.

It goes without saying that no single program will achieve a big outcome like the rapid and accurate diagnosis of ASD in all children affected. A broad roadmap that considers how research, services, training, and other elements influence one another within an integrated network can begin, however, to break these kinds of big outcomes down into smaller steps.

What might this integrated network look like? Let's take a look!

An integrated network

Understanding the complementary roles of individual professionals and agencies within the network

Every element within this roadmap seeks different outcomes and adopts different definitions of progress.  In the case of ASD screening, a researcher pursuing a specific line of inquiry might define progress in term of increased understanding of the early indicators of ASD.  A professional implementing a specific practice with a particular student, patient, or client might define progress in terms of access to a new screening tool. A leader promoting the adoption of a large-scale screening program might define progress in terms of improved access for an entire population of people with ASD.  We hope that these differences will ultimately converge in the big, overarching goal for our science that our society adopts, although our recent review revealed no examples of specific research studies designed to achieve or to document a state or national impact (Doehring, 2019).

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The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.


My Related Publications

( 2019). The Impact of ASD Research on National Policy (Ch. 9). In Volkmar, F. (Ed.). Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (3rd Ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

(2014). Translating Research into Effective Social Policy. In Volkmar, F. Paul, R., Rogers, S., & Pelphrey, K. Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Assessment, Interventions, Policy, the Future (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey

(2013). Autism Services Across America: Roadmaps for Improving State and National Education, Research, and Training Programs. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD

(2011). With Brian Reichow, Dominic Cicchetti, & Fred Volkmar F. (Eds.). Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children with Autism.  Springer-Verlaug, New York, NY.

(2010). With Megan Ott and Susan   Levy. Early Autism Screening and Identification Clinic (EASI):  A Nurse Practitioner & Physician Clinic Model. National Autism Conference. State College PA.