OAR’s mission is to apply research to the challenges of autism.
We strive to use science to address the social, educational, and treatment concerns of self-advocates, parents, autism professionals, and caregivers. The mission of “applying” research to answer questions of daily concern to those living with autism defines our goals and program objectives and shapes our budget.
In addition to funding research, our mission includes the requirements to:
- Disseminate new and useful information to as many members of the autism community as possible, and
- Direct all research and programs initiatives toward enhancing the quality of life for individuals with autism.
If you are wondering what we mean by applied research, we define it as research that directly impacts the day-to-day quality of life of learners with autism. It entails the systematic investigation of variables associated with positive outcomes in such areas as education, communication, self care, social skills, employment, behavior, and adult and community living. In this context, it extends to issues related to family support, the efficacy of service delivery systems, and demographic analyses of the autism community.
In simplest terms, applied autism research is “practical research that examines issues and challenges that children and adults with autism and their families face everyday.”
OAR was founded in December 2001 by seven individuals whose lives and families had been directly impacted by autism. They shared a common vision and set out on a singular mission – to apply science to answer the daily questions and challenges that autism presents to individuals with autism, their families, teachers, and caregivers.
There are many organizations dedicated to autism. What distinguishes us from other organizations is our singular focus on applied research and the quality and practical value of its resource materials. The studies we fund and the information resources we provide have meaning in the day-to-day lives of persons with autism and their families. Rather than fund research relative to cause and cure, we funds pilot studies on topics of more every day relevance such as education, parent and teacher training, communication, self-care, social skills, employment, behavior and adult and community issues. In pursuing its efforts to change lives, our ultimate focus is quality of life.