Use this Guide to Better Interpret Research | Organization for Autism Research

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When parents first learn of their child’s autism diagnosis, they may feel overwhelmed with the need to learn about the details and complexities of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They have to not only educate themselves about the medical details, but also the range of treatment options available. Understanding a complex disorder such as autism can be difficult because it often requires the ability to find evidence-based research and interpret the scientific terms that are used.

However, being able to understand that research is key to making sense of an ASD diagnosis and making plans for a child’s future. OAR’s “A Parent’s Guide to Research” provides foundational information about how to evaluate and understand autism research. The guide includes:

  • A glossary of terms
  • An overview of scientific research
  • Tips and information to help you determine if a study is pertinent to your child
  • Questions to ask to evaluate research studies

The guide is available for free and can be downloaded in either English or Spanish or ordered as a printed publication. OAR encourages parents to use it themselves and to share it with their community.

OAR will soon be revising the guide, which was first published in 2003, to ensure it continues to provide current and relevant information for the autism community. If you are interested in contributing to the revision process, please contact OAR at .


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