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OARacle Newsletter

Value of Support Groups for Autistic LGBTQIA+ People

In November, OAR’s Board of Directors authorized funding for eight applied autism research studies in 2024. These new grants, totaling $297,569, bring OAR’s total research funding to more than $5 million since 2002. This article is the first of eight previews to be featured in The OARacle this year. Autistic people are more likely to…

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Identifying Effective Prompts to Teach Autistic Children

Behavioral intervention for autistic children focuses on building many skills in a short amount of time through individualized programming. That goal requires effective and efficient teaching strategies, such as prompting, which promotes the acquisition and independence of skills. However, not all prompts are effective for all learners.  In her OAR-funded 2021 study, “Stimulus Prompts in…

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Testing an Intervention to Reduce Anxiety

As the number of autistic students attending college has increased, more colleges have created programs to support them. However, mental health support is often not included as a component of those programs. This is a critical lack since autistic adults face more anxiety than their non-autistic peers. A 2020 study found that 20% of autistic…

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Training Early Intervention Providers to Screen for ASD

Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) provides special education services to eligible infants and toddlers from birth until their third birthday. Part C services are mandated to take place within the natural environment, meaning interventions must take place in settings where an infant or toddler naturally spends their time such…

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Increasing Resiliency in Parents of Autistic Children

In 2018, OAR gave a $2,000 Graduate Research Grant to Sara Spong, who was then a doctoral student at Regent University pursuing a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision. Her study examined stress and resiliency factors in caregivers of autistic children. The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting…

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Treating Anxiety in a School Setting

In 2019, OAR awarded a $2,000 Graduate Research Grant to Stephanie Joseph, a doctoral student at the University of Oregon studying special education. Her study examined the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce anxiety in elementary school-aged autistic children.    Anxiety disorders are one of the most commonly re-occurring comorbid diagnoses of children with autism, affecting…

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Understanding Auditory Processing in Autistic Adults

In 2020, OAR awarded graduate researcher Chelsea Anderson a grant of $2,000 for her investigation into the role of auditory attention in speech-in-noise processing in young autistic adults. Her research study examined how auditory attention skills affect the ability of the brain to process sounds, particularly being able to hear speech in noise.   Auditory attention…

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Aligning Evidence-Based Practices Across Home and School

In November, OAR’s Board of Directors authorized funding for eight applied autism research studies in 2022. These new grants, totaling $313,712, bring OAR’s total research funding to more than $4.7 million since 2002. This article is the first of eight previews to be featured in The OARacle this year.    Evidence-based practices are a key way to…

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Targeting Anxiety Treatment for Young Autistic Children

Recent data suggests that 40% of autistic children under the age of 7 have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can exacerbate autism symptoms, such as worsening sensory over-reactivity and difficulty tolerating change, and contribute to social withdrawal and avoidance. Further, anxiety in young children is associated with a 3.5 times higher risk of anxiety and depression…

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Improving Suicide Risk Screening for Autistic Youth

According to a report by the United Health Foundation released in early October, suicides among adolescents ages 15 to 19 jumped 29% over the previous decade, from 8.4 per 100,000 to 10.8 per 100,000. In March, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new recommendations that call for pediatric health providers to screen all young people…

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