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Research Participant Registry Core

 

Welcome to SPARK at UNC
Join the UNC SPARK team!

What is SPARK?

  • A landmark research partnership between the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), UNC and 20 other clinical and research institutions across the US
  • A free, online study whose goal is to speed up autism research and learn more about the causes and treatments of autism
  • The goal of SPARK is to involve 50,000 people with autism and their biological family members
  • Families are asked to share basic information about medical and family history and can choose to submit saliva sample (saliva kits mailed to home)

How to get involved in SPARK at UNC

  • Read more and register at www.sparkforautism.org/UNC
  • Consent to share information about yourself and/or your child with autism and agree to be re-contacted for future studies (no obligation to participate)
  • Share family history, behavioral and medical information
  • Consent to provide a saliva sample and request the saliva collection kit (kits mailed to you with prepaid mailer)
  • Complete online surveys

Who can participate in SPARK?

  • Children and adults with a professional diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • Biological parents and full siblings of the individual with autism spectrum disorder

SPARK Webinars for Families


UNC SPARK invites you to attend a FREE webinar entitled “Autism Treatments: What We Know and Don’t Know”.

Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D. will discuss different kinds of medicines and treatments available for autism. He will also discuss the process of developing and testing new medical treatments, why it can take a long time and how researching identify what treatments may work. The webinar will be Monday, April 24 from 12 – 1pm EDT.

Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele is a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist at Columbia University and at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in White Plains, New York.

For more information and to register for the webinar, please go to the registration page: Autism Treatments: What We Know and Don’t Know

Questions? Please contact UNC SPARK project coordinator Corrie Walston.

What families are saying about SPARK

“It was easy to do and we enjoyed standing around the kitchen, our whole family spitting into the tubes! Just knowing that we could be a part of something bigger to help others is important to us.”

“Knowing the origins of autism might help develop better treatments and supports, which would improve the daily lives of people with autism. Also, if SPARK helps us demonstrate that autism has genetic origins, that is one step along the way to true autism acceptance.”

“There is a lot of conflicting information about what causes autism and how best to treat it. We feel we owe it to our son as well as to the many other families who have children with autism to find real answers through the best scientific research available."

Bringing Together
Families & Researchers

For Information about SPARK,
please contact


UNC SPARK Project Coordinator:

Corrie Walston, MS
919-966-6795
SparkForAutism@unc.edu

Thank you for your interest in research at UNC.



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